Rainwater harvesting and turf management training set for May 4 in Burnet

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training May 4 for Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills and Williamson counties. 

The free event will be held in-person from 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife County Office, 607 North Vandeveer, Suite 100, in Burnet 

Registration is required and can be completed at tx.ag/BurnetMay4. Contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at john.smith@ag.tamu.edu or 979-204-0573 with any questions. Attendees who RSVP to the event will receive updates and materials related to the training via email. 

The training is offered in collaboration with the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership. 

“The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices for residential landscapes,” Smith said. 

On the agenda 

Attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems as well as appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions and other practices. 

“Management practices such as using irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil test results and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and make efficient use of applied landscape irrigation water,” Smith said. 

Dean Minchillo, AgriLife Extension program specialist in Dallas, said “Proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation can protect and improve water quality in area creeks, and collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs reduces stormwater runoff.” 

Lisa Prcin, watershed coordinator for the Lampasas River Watershed, will also discuss updates on Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan activities to improve and protect water quality in this watershed during the event.  

Soil testing 

Participants can have their soil tested as part of the training. The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants. 

Residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions and the Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form from the AgriLife Extension offices in:  

Bags containing residents’ soil samples should be returned to the location where they were obtained prior to or by one week after the training, soil samples may also be brought to the training where we will have soil bags to transfer the sample into. Please do not mail the soil sample to the lab. 

Samples will be grouped into one submission and sent to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including micronutrients, pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen, and other parameters. 

The training will include information on how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once the analysis is mailed to them. 

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through a Clean Water Act § 319(h) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. 

Read the complete AgriLife Today story.


As communications manager, Leslie Lee leads TWRI's communications and marketing strategy and team, manages TWRI's publications, and coordinates effective communications support for TWRI's numerous projects serving the state of Texas.

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