Conservation Matters May 2015

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for June 2 in Waxahachie

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for June 2 in Waxahachie

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop June 2 in Waxahachie for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Richland-Chambers Lake watershed.

The free workshop is from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Ellis County and the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD).

The morning session will be at the First United Methodist Church, 505 W. Marvin Ave. The afternoon session will include an outdoor walk along a creek and presentations.

Tina Hendon, TRWD watershed program manager, said the goal of the water district’s watershed program is to protect drinking water supplies through responsible watershed planning and stewardship. 

“By increasing knowledge about watershed and stream processes, we can change behaviors and create advocates for responsible land management,” Hendon said.

Nikki Dictson, TWRI Extension program specialist and coordinator of the program, said trainings will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones, as well as the benefits and economic impacts from properly functioning riparian systems. A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou or river. 

Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of TWRI, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, AgriLife Extension and TRWD. 

Dictson said healthy riparian areas protect drinking water sources by preventing erosion on stream banks, slowing down the stormwater velocity and filtering out sediment and pollutants of concern.

“The goal 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,” Dictson said.

Mark Arnold, AgriLife Extension agent for Ellis County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers five 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 TWRI and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

The program will include lunch, sponsored by TRWD, and a lunchtime presentation. Attendees may bring their own lunch if they prefer.

Attendees must RSVP by May 28 to Dictson at 979.458.5915 or, or online at

The riparian education program is managed by TWRI and is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, contact Dictson, visit or go to


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