Restoration Demonstration Progress

Geronimo Creek, a perennial creek, is fed by natural springs and a tributary, Alligator Creek. We selected two 100-foot sections along the creek that showed moderate erosion along the stream banks. We selected the upstream section for the restoration of native vegetation and the downstream section as the control site that will not undergo restoration.

The restoration site prior to the planting restoration
The restoration site prior to the planting restoration
Control site at the beginning of the project
Control site at the beginning of the project

Vegetation is an important aspect for stream bank stabilization. Roots help hold the soil in place reducing erosion. The above-ground portion of vegetation slows down floodwaters, dissipating the energy and allowing filtration of sediments and debris. Riparian corridors consist of a variety of species that are designated as obligate, facultative wet, facultative and upland. Obligate species grow right at the water’s edge where they survive with their roots in constantly inundated or saturated soil. Facultative wet species can grow slightly upland from the obligate species. They prefer saturated soils with seasonal inundation. Facultative species grow further up the banks of streams in slightly saturated to upland soils with tolerance to occasional flooding. Upland species prefer unsaturated soil.

The variety of species planted at the site include cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), Emory’s sedge (Carex emoryi), creeping spikerush (Eleocharis montevidensis), beaked spikerush (Eleocharis rostellata), scouringrush horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), white star sedge (Rhynchospora colorata), Cherokee sedge (Carex cherokeensis), purpletop tridens (Triden flavus), Texas blue grass (Poa arachnifera), Leavenworth’s sedge (Carex leavenworthii), stream sedge (Carex blanda), creek sedge (Carex amphibola), inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), Turk’s cap (Malvaviscus arboreus), roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) and black willow (Salix nigra).

We placed jute matting along the steeper banks to reduce erosion during the planting and establishing of the vegetation.

Team planting
Team planting
Volunteers Planting
Volunteers Planting

  
On March 21, 2018 our team and volunteers from the local Master Naturalist and Master Gardener chapters planted over half of the native riparian vegetation at the restoration site. A second planting day occurred on April 7, which included our team and another group of volunteers associated with the Geronimo Creek Stream Cleanup, who helped plant the remaining vegetation. We are taking photos to track the progress over time at both the control and restored sites.

The restoration site about 4 months after planting restoration in June 2018
The restoration site about 4 months after planting restoration in June 2018
June 2018 showing a portion of the control site
June 2018 showing a portion of the control site

Clare Entwistle Escamilla
clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu

Clare Entwistle Escamilla, TWRI research specialist, provides leadership for various research and extension projects, working with university faculty, state, local and federal governments and stakeholders, to address statewide water related issues.

Nathan Glavy
nathan.glavy@ag.tamu.edu

As Extension program specialist for TWRI, Nathan Glavy works on the development and execution of watershed planning projects and trainings, the watershed coordinator development program, and the water quality and riparian education programs.

    News


    The Texas Water Resources Institute has published its latest Annual Report, focusing on accomplishments and project highlights from 2019.


    The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host an Urban Stream Processes and Restoration Training from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 29 in New Braunfels for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects around the Interstate 35 corridor.


    If you follow Texas Water Resources Institute on social media (@TxWRI), you may have noticed our monthly program spotlights, but in case you missed it, for the month of September the focus was on our Urban Riparian & Stream Restoration Program.


    This month’s txH2O highlight is from the Fall 2017 issue of the magazine and focuses on the effectiveness of low impact development (LID) practices in reducing negative environmental impacts of urban growth.


    The Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program of the Texas Water Resources Institute will host an Urban Stream Processes and Restoration training from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 19 in McKinney for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects in and around the Dallas area.


    From a math major to a watershed saver, Clare Entwistle, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research associate, knows that protecting riparian areas is important for the future of Texas.


    The Texas Water Resources Institute water team along with Ward Ling, Geronimo and Alligator Creek watershed coordinator, and volunteers recently planted native species along the Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program demonstration site located on Geronimo Creek at the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center in Seguin, Texas.

     


    Riparian and natural resource professionals discussed current innovations and issues in riparian restoration and management at the Urban Riparian Symposium: Balancing the Challenges of Healthy Urban Streams Feb. 15-17 in Houston at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative Building.


    The Urban Riparian Symposium will be held Feb. 15-17, 2017, in Houston, and natural resource professionals are invited to attend, share ideas and discuss management and policy issues.


    Even in cities, amidst the tall buildings, fast cars and busy people, there are still natural resources that need protection — particularly urban riparian areas, according to Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist. These vegetative buffers found along rivers and streams are complex ecosystems that include the land, plants, animals and network of streams within them.