Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training August 20 for Austin and Washington Counties.
The free event will be online from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. with a half-hour lunch. Online registration is required. Attendees can RSVP online or contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-204-0573. Those who RSVP to the event will receive updates, instructions to join the online meeting and materials related to the meeting via email.
The training is offered in collaboration with the Mill Creek 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.
Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension urban water specialist, Dallas, said 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,” Grubbs said.
Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, 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.
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, beginning August 3, at the AgriLife Extension offices in Austin County located at 800 East Wendt St., Bellville, TX or in Washington County located at 1305 E. Blue Bell Rd. Ste. 104., Brenham, TX. Bags containing residents’ soil samples should be returned to the location where they were obtained. Please do not mail the soil sample to the lab.
Attendees can submit a soil test by dropping their soil sample off to the AgriLife Extension offices in Austin or Washington Counties prior to or by one week after the meeting.
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.
Dr. Jake Mowrer, AgriLife Extension specialist in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, and watershed coordinator for the Mill Creek Watershed, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in this watershed.
For more information about the Mill Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to: https://millcreek.tamu.edu/files/2017/10/MillCreekWPPfinal.pdf
Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreements (99614621, 99614624) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 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.
- John Smith, 979-204-0573, email@example.com
- Dr. Becky Grubbs, 972-952-9673 ext. 673, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, email@example.com
- Reagan Hejl, 979-845-5252, Reagan.firstname.lastname@example.org