The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

For obvious reasons, this can’t be a normal Trailist column. I’m sitting here in my apartment, listening to the rain pour down for the third straight day, trying to think of ways to recommend getting outdoors during these tough and ever-changing times. Here’s the paradox: We all have to go outside, for our own physical and mental health. We can’t get our exercise at the gym anymore. And regardless of how nice your home workout set-up might be, I believe you need…

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National parks — your Rx for good health

National parks — your Rx for good health

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to national parks is surging. As more parks close to protect visitors and staff, we can expect another influx when they reopen. In times of crisis and times of calm, national parks are America’s go-to places. Visitation to national parks in 2019 exceeded 300 million visitors for the fifth consecutive year. Numbers of visitors increased by 2.9 percent last year, making it the third highest to date, with nearly 328 million visitors. Read more from Susan Sherman, Executive…

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Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Tune into the Urban Roots Instagram feed and you’ll find a new series of videos featuring executive director Max Elliott teaching viewers how to plant peppers; showcasing his ready crop of kale and the helpful, aphid-eating ladybug larvae that live on the leaves; or interviewing (at a safe distance) local restaurant business leaders. His tone is even and hopeful, a brief lifeline to those of us battling isolation as the COVID-19 outbreak wears on. In 2008, Elliott founded Urban Roots as…

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2020 Hill Country Night Sky Song Contest announced

2020 Hill Country Night Sky Song Contest announced

  • April 6, 2020
  • News

Press Release: Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky The Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) has announced the 2020 Hill Country Night Sky Songwriting Contest.  This year’s contest, open to songwriters of any genre or residence, focuses on the theme “Preserving the Night Sky.”  Deadline for song submission is September 25, 2020. “Last year’s contest was such a success we decided to do it again!” said Larry Seiler, BCFNS treasurer and owner of the Los Senderos Recording…

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As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the-radar problem that’s making people sick in farming communities across the state. Then again, their attention might drift. Pesticide drift occurs when crop dusters—pilots or tractor drivers hired by farmers to spray pesticides on fields to kill weeds and bugs—miss the mark and inadvertently deliver a cloud of poison to people, plants, and animals. Since 2013, the Texas…

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Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Discolored water from wells near the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline is causing distress. Test results on the water, taken where the pipeline is about to cross the Blanco River, are expected soon from a Lower Colorado River Authority laboratory. Once the results are received, David Baker of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) and others opposed to the pipeline’s route through the fragile Texas Hill Country will have a better idea of what their next steps should be. Read more…

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Newly detected moth threatens prickly pear in Texas

Newly detected moth threatens prickly pear in Texas

Texas is now the front line of an ecological battle pitting a devastating invasive moth against the state’s ubiquitous prickly pear cactus. Already, the South American cactus moth has laid waste to the cactus population in Florida, having come ashore there roughly 30 years ago. Now field biologists with the University of Texas have spotted it in South Texas and are rushing to bring the moth population under control. If they can’t, they say, a plant iconic to the Texas frontier…

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Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District delays drought cutbacks

Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District delays drought cutbacks

Press Release: Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District   At the April 2 Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Board meeting, District Directors voted to delay an order that would put the Jacobs Well Groundwater Management Zone (MAP here) into drought status.  “With folks sheltering in place in order to protect their families from to exposure to the Covid-19 virus, the District recognizes that water usage will go up in homes” said Linda Kaye Rogers, HTGCD Board President “The District continue to monitor the…

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Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Feral swine, the offspring of wild boars and domestic pigs, are spreading through Canada into areas where many didn’t think they could survive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. But as wild boars are wont to do, some of them escaped, either digging under fences or barreling through them. Others were set free once the boar meat market cooled. At first, it didn’t seem like a big…

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The COVID-19 crisis and our water: Part 1

The COVID-19 crisis and our water: Part 1

As people stocked up on food and essential items for their time at home to help slow the spread of the COVID-19, I saw shopping carts full of bottled water.  Television shots and videos on social media of shoppers often showed the same thing. It seems that over the last two decades, our preparation for natural disasters started to include bottled water — and a lot of it..  There is reason to prepare for disruption in water service in a…

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