Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

What if there was a way to irrigate less but still have good-looking landscapes? Thanks to research results recently published by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), homeowners and landscapers can now learn exactly how little water is needed by popular Central Texas ornamental plants to not only survive but thrive. The drought survivability study, conducted in San Antonio throughout 2015, found that many ornamental plants popular in Central Texas…

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If these walls could talk

If these walls could talk

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The pictographs of the Pecos River have lasted millennia in a tempestuous desert, surviving mostly in silence. Now an archaeologist has cracked the code — and they can begin to speak again. September 12, 2012, was a long day, but a good one. For Carolyn Boyd it started with a 30-minute drive from her home in Comstock to a 265-acre preserve, where she convened with fellow archaeologists Mark Willis and Amanda Castaneda and left the road behind. From there it…

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Crazy ants are the new fire ants (and possibly worse)

Crazy ants are the new fire ants (and possibly worse)

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The big problem in Texas: no local species appears to beat crazy ants. Hoping to underscore his point about a new pestilence that has arrived in Central Texas, ant researcher Edward LeBrun pointed to a Mason jar in his office. The jar looked like it was filled with blackberry jam. But it was actually filled, top to bottom, with ants, roughly 181,000 of them. More specifically, tawny crazy ants — a bug causing such a problem that it has supplanted…

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Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm Where its going and where its been

Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm Where its going and where its been

  • December 2, 2016
  • News

On Monday, November 28 a presentation about Cibolo Nature Center and Farm was made to County Judge Darrel Lux and the Commissioner’s court. John Schilhab, President of the board of trustees, accompanied by Executive Director and Founder Carolyn Chipman Evans, gave a brief history of the non-profit, it’sperspective and how it’s combating problems going into the future.  For those who are not familiar, Cibolo Nature Center, adjacent to Boerne City Park, is a 100 acre nature preserve with Cibolo Creek…

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Commentary: Digital billboards are more trouble than some may suggest

Commentary: Digital billboards are more trouble than some may suggest

In the recently published commentary, “Texas cities should upgrade billboard laws for digital age,” Russ Horton suggested that Austin and other Texas cities quickly “consider carefully crafting” digital sign agreements with sign owners or “find themselves left behind by the digital revolution.” He urges cities to allow off-premise electronic digitally changing commercial advertising signs because “most of the state’s largest metropolitan areas” allow them and because business owners are allowed to have them for their on-premise commercial activities. Horton leaves…

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With Texas Building Boom Comes Higher Flood Risk

With Texas Building Boom Comes Higher Flood Risk

  • November 30, 2016
  • News

Over the years, planners, engineers, water quality experts and others have come to recognize how urban development can drastically alter the landscape and exacerbate flooding. The culprit, many experts believe, is impervious cover — the massive buildings, commercial strips and houses in addition to the asphalt and concrete that we walk and drive on every day. By stopping rain from absorbing into the ground, impervious cover increases the volume and speed of runoff from heavy downpours, pushing it in different…

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Director’s Notes – November 2016

Director’s Notes – November 2016

  • November 16, 2016
  • News

November 2016: Giving Thanks – Just like that, Fall is in full swing in the Hill Country and the gorgeous cooler weather reminds us the holidays will soon be here. November is a month for giving thanks, and I appreciate the opportunity to share with all of you a few of the incredible things I am grateful for this year. Passionate, hardworking staff. The work of the Hill Country Alliance was recently summarized by the editor of the Fredericksburg Standard…

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How Urban Trees Can Save Lives

How Urban Trees Can Save Lives

  • November 15, 2016
  • News

Heatwaves are one of the world’s most underestimated threats, killing more than 12,000 people every year around the world—more than any other weather-related event. And heat is especially dangerous in cities, which tend to be much warmer than surrounding less-developed areas. On top of that, cities tend to have higher levels of air pollution, which contribute to more than 3 million deaths every year. With 70 percent of the world’s population predicted to live in cities by 2050, heat and…

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85th Texas Legislature – Committees discuss water issues as they prepare for next session

85th Texas Legislature – Committees discuss water issues as they prepare for next session

Are you curious what water topics will be discussed, debated and voted on during the upcoming 85th Texas legislative session? While it is still early, the following information will help you stay current on legislative activities. In between sessions, interim charges are issued to both House and Senate legislative committees. The committees hold meetings during the interim, hearing testimony and receiving written testimony about the issues the committees are studying. Before the session begins, each committee will issue a report…

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Dripping Springs residents oppose Onion Creek wastewater discharge

Dripping Springs residents oppose Onion Creek wastewater discharge

  • November 14, 2016
  • News

The city of Dripping Springs and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality listened to dozens of north Hays County residents and community members speak against a proposed permit that could allow the city to discharge up to 955,000 gallons of wastewater into Onion Creek every day. City officials said Dripping Springs does not plan to discharge anywhere near that amount of water in the near future, and the city’s intent from the beginning of the application process—which began in 2014—has been to…

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