The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) will host a free Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 6 in Bandera for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in Bandera County.
The morning session will be at the Recreation Hall at Mansfield Park, 355 W. A Mansfield Road. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the Medina River.
Clare Entwistle, TWRI research associate, San Antonio, said the workshop is co-hosted locally by the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District (BCRAGD) and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bandera County.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The BCRAGD is sponsoring a catered lunch or participants may bring their own lunch.
Corrina Fox, BCRAGD education and outreach coordinator, said the BCRAGD is actively involved in the Clean Rivers Program in the Medina and Sabinal River basins. The district also maintains in-house surface water quality programs for Bandera County, focusing on recreational sites in the county, including Medina Lake.
Fox said BCRAGD along with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department collaborate with county landowners to remove and control Arundo donax. The district also operates an illegal dumping litter abatement program to protect local streams as well as groundwater resources.
Entwistle said proper management, protection and restoration of these areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks and improves fish and aquatic habitats and communities.
“The goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, the benefits of healthy riparian areas and what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” she said.
Entwistle said the institute is able to offer the workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Michael Haynes, AgriLife Extension agent for Bandera County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.
The workshop offers many types of continuing education units, including three units—two general and one integrated pest management—for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from the TWRI, seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.
The riparian education program is managed by TWRI.