The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 18 in Bandera for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Medina and Sabinal rivers.
The morning session will be at the Mansfield Park Recreational Hall, 2886 Texas Highway 16 N. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.
The workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bandera County and the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District.
According to Morgen Ayers, Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District‘s water conservation and community outreach coordinator, Bandera County contains the headwaters of the Medina River, located in the upper San Antonio River Basin, as well as the headwaters of the Sabinal River, located in the upper Nueces River Basin.
Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist for TWRI, said the workshop will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones in addition to the benefits and economic impacts from proper functioning riparian systems.
“Riparian areas – the green vegetated land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou, river or lake – are unique and important ecosystems that provide many benefits including habitat and forage,” Dictson said. “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.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of TWRI, Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation, with the river authority providing a free meal to participants.
Dictson said they are 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 various continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and six hours from the Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, 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.