Cibolo Nature Center
June 14, 2012
BOERNE, Texas—Teachers, informal educators, youth group leaders and others interested in teaching children about nature will have opportunities to learn proven techniques during two workshops at the Cibolo Nature Center during July.
A Nature Box Workshop for elementary school teachers will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on July 2, presented by Nature Box founders and professional educators Kathy Wilson and Kathy Ward and their team of retired teachers, Master Naturalists and Cibolo Nature Center trail guides.
The workshop will provide instruction for teachers to present Nature Box projects with TEKS-related lesson plans. Participants will develop hands-on activities for lessons and will practice presentations. Teachers may earn professional development credit hours through the workshop. The workshop costs $15. Advanced registration is required online at http://www.cibolo.org/calendar.
A Flying WILD Workshop for both formal and informal educators will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 5, led by Tom and Patsy Inglet. Flying WILD explores bird conservation through classroom activities and stewardship projects. Participants will explore guidelines for how to implement school bird festivals and conservation projects, and will receive an educator’s manual and sample activities.
Flying WILD training is geared to middle-school children but can be adapted to other age groups. Flying WILD is a companion program to Project WILD, a kindergarten through 12th grade environmental and conservation education program emphasizing awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources The Flying WILD workshop costs $20 with advanced registration required online at www.cibolo.org/calendar. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch. Professional continuing education credits will be available for teachers.
On July 6, a Flying WILD facilitator’s workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon for those who would like to teach others to implement Flying WILD programs. Previous participation in a Flying WILD Workshop is a prerequisite for facilitator’s training, which will be led by Mary Kennedy. Facilitator’s training is free, although online registration is also required.
The Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne is located on 162 acres of natural lands at Boerne City Park off Highway 46 just west of the Kendall County Fairgrounds. The Cibolo Nature Center’s mission is conservation of natural resources through education and stewardship. Call (830) 249-4616 or visit http://www.cibolo.org.
Citizens in Comal County have valid concerns regarding a proposed cement plant in Spring Branch. Because Counties have little oversight in unincorporated areas, landowners must make their case before TCEQ. A public meeting has been set for June 27th at 7 pm in New Braunfels. Read more from the local neighbors and landowners who are encouraging participation.
Featuring Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization developing planning, policy, and design solutions for low-carbon, resilient built environments worldwide. Details
Texas cities will continue to determine how their cities look because your voices were heard! Three proposed bills that would have done permanent damage to our urban landscapes and overridden city ordinances were halted at the State Capitol. Read more from Scenic Texas.
A proposed bill aimed at fighting billboard blight in Comal County went nowhere in the Legislature. State Rep. Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels, said he and state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who were asked to sponsor the bill, thought the measure conflicted with the rights of property owners. Read More
Hays County Town Hall Meeting about Sports Complex Lighting June 20th
Hill Country people appreciate the Night Sky and one growing concern is the proliferation extremely lit sports fields. A town hall meeting focused on the new Central Texas Field of Dreams, will take place at the fire station at 7520 Creek Road in Dripping Springs, Thursday June 20th from 6 – 8. Learn about lighting sports parks from IDA here. Learn about HCA’s Night Sky Program here.
A great illustration from State Impact of the change in water use with rice farmers cut off last year. Municipal use is now a much bigger piece of the pie, but how much of that 47% is used for watering lawns? Read more from State Impact here. Also, a telling report from Native American Seed about water conservation and taking care of your land. The TCEQ will conduct a public meeting regarding the LCRA water management plan on June 26th.
Houston Tomorrow reports “A Wisconsin court ruling may require planners across the country to publicly consider the effects on sprawl and transit before approving highway expansions.” According to The Houston Chronicle, "The interim ruling is far from final and could still be overturned by a higher court, but its mere existence has emboldened some highways foes that the days of 'build it and they will come' answers to handling growth."
Read this summary report of how bills on GEAA’s legislative agenda fared during the 83rd session. To review HCA’s Legislative news postings, comments filed and a few bills worth Hill Country attention click here.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Salvador Salinas today announced that NRCS in Texas has $5.5 million in funding available for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on their land through the agency’s Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). Learn More
This is another unfortunate example of why thoughtful planning with county authority is so necessary. "The land in question is in Comal County, outside of San Antonio city limits. But the San Antonio Water System has agreed to run water mains and sewer lines to the proposed subdivision — the first such agreement SAWS has made with a subdivision entirely within Comal County. The oversized water mains the agency intends to build would also allow easy expansion to future subdivisions in the area. Read more from the Texas Tribune.
200 people showed up to support three hours of testimony. At the end, Susan Hughes asked the City Council "who has been to Bracken Bat Cave?" (which is under threat by a large subdivision facilitated by a SAWS water/sewer line). No one had been there, no one said a word. Read the story in the San Antonio Express News. HCA submitted written comments. Learn more about Bracken Cave.
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) sums up Hill Country water challenges well, “For the Hill Country to remain viable and for our property to hold its value, there must be water available for our sustenance. Recognizing the limits placed on us and working together, we can find solutions that will support life in the Texas Hill Country for many years into the future”. Read more from CARD, be involved and spread the word.
Austin, Texas (June 4, 2013) – Three Hill Country schools have each been awarded $1,000 grants to further their plans to bring rainwater harvesting to their schools and education about water resources to their students. “The innovation and enthusiasm that these schools, through their administrators and teachers, bring to their students is very gratifying,” said Karen Ford, a Hill Country Alliance board member and chair of the annual Rainwater Revival. “These students will learn the importance of water conservation and that conservation is easy, fun, and a very important thing to do.” Learn More
Special alert regarding fox rabies outbreak for western Hill Country Counties from AgriLife
We need the public’s help to report any encounters they have with wildlife or strange-acting domestic animals or livestock. It’s important that the public knows that the state will pick up any of the cost associated with testing of the animals. Learn more about this issue that affects, Kimble, Mason, Gillespie, Llano and additional counties in the western Hill Country region here.
LCRA water plan needs more study with drought in mind, state says
Texas’ environmental agency is putting the brakes on a long-term plan for managing Central Texas’ main water supply, saying Monday that the managers of the Highland Lakes may not be adequately accounting for the kind of drought now affecting the region. More from Statesman.com.
Pasture Walks, One Way to Share Information Among Landowners
Take a walk with Jill Nokes as she learns from real experience and documented projects intended to restore and heal land here in the Hill Country. Her most recent post takes us to the CL Browning Ranch in Blanco County. Ethics in land stewardship are critical for our future water supply – learn more.
South Llano River Project honored by TPWD
Congratulations to the South Llano Watershed Alliance for outstanding recognition for landowner collaboration and land stewardship activities. This is a project worth replicating, watch this video and share with friends in your Hill Country River Basin.
Want to learn how to garden for the drought?
Learn from your local Native Plant Society. Check out the most recent issue of “Bexar Roots” - a publication of the San Antonio chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Great tips for your garden and plenty of ideas to get involved in your community.
Bipartisan Caucus Lays Groundwork for Food Movement
The bipartisan "farm-to-table" caucus landed a couple of key victories in its first legislative session, laying the groundwork for its effort to help small agricultural businesses crop up across Texas. More from Texas Tribune
LCRA, Parks and other Legislative outcomes
In a legislative session dedicated to setting aside money to build pipelines and finance conservation projects to meet Texas’ growing water demands, lawmakers took the opportunity to pass or kill a variety of other water-related and environmentally minded proposals. Read the full story from the Statesman.
Texas rainwater harvesting at a crossroads - a town hall meeting, June 15
H.B. 2062 as introduced could have set rainwater harvesting back ten years. But because of the dedicated work of a small group of rainwater professionals, the worst of H.B. 2062 (for the rainwater community) appears to have been struck. Next time could be different – very different, and very bad. A forum has been scheduled to begin organizing for effective, pro-active, rainwater harvesting advocacy in the interests of consumers, installers, manufacturers, vendors and municipalities. Details
San Antonio Keeps Getting Greener!
The Office of Sustainability says San Antonio is emerging as one of the “greenest” large American cities. Learn More
June 21 in San Antonio - Edwards Aquifer Authority presents: Groundwater - Texas Style - Details
June 24 in Kerrville - Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Monthly Meeting - Drought: Past, Present and Future - Free and open to the public - Details
June 26 in Austin - TCEQ Stakeholder Meeting on LCRA Water Management Plan - Details
August 1 in San Antonio - AIA Presents 3rd Annual Sustainable Urban Development Luncheon - Details
August 20 in San Antonio - Sierra Club meeting, "The Inner Workings of the Edwards Aquifer" - Details
August 22-29 in San Marcos - 2013 Texas Groundwater Summit - REGISTRATION OPEN - Details
Imagine a place where vibrant communities draw strength from their natural assets to sustain their quality of life. A place where citizens care about protecting the special qualities of a region – their region. A place where people and partners band together to envision a better economic future, tackle shared challenges and care for the natural, scenic, and recreational resources that define the place they call home.
~This is a Conservation Landscape
Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.
HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool