Landowners work to “heal” Sandy Creek after flood

An effort to restore Sandy Creek has taken root in Llano County.

About 25 landowners, conservationists and other volunteers attended the Sandy Creek Riparian Restoration Field Day March 2 on private property (County Road 316) adjacent to Sandy Creek to assess land and put so-called revegetation efforts into practice.

“People like myself and other professionals, we really didn’t think about rivers. They were just part of the landscape,” said Steve Nelle, a Natural Resource Conservation Service retiree. “We didn’t know anything about how to manage them or take care of them.”

Sponsored by Hill Country Alliance, the Bender family welcomed the volunteers to their property to tour the creek shoreline, plant black willow cuttings and sedges as well as broadcast native seed and transplant muhly grasses.

To the master gardener or ecologist, the terms and protocol have become second nature.

The focus on field day involved motivating landowners to adopt the same practices on private property.

“We have brought together landowners from Sandy Creek and adjacent creeks and rivers who care about the health of these waterways,” Hill Country Alliance Land Program Manager Daniel Oppenheimer said. “If we don’t have healthy riparian areas, along our creeks and rivers, we’re going to have less water.

Read more from Connie Swinney with The Highlander here.