Broad-Based Efforts

tour.jpg

The Partnership has utilized and cooperated with several programs to boost participation in the stewardship of Plum Creek. The following approaches have been used to engage the general public and stakeholders in both rural and urban areas.

Texas Watershed Steward Program

The TEXAS WATERSHED STEWARD program delivers science-based watershed education designed to help citizens identify and take action to address local water quality impairments. This program was launched in the Plum Creek Watershed, and the Partnership received training through presentations and discussions at project meetings. To support watershed plan implementation, additional public training events were conducted in Kyle (December 2007) and in Luling (August 2008).

TWS.jpg

School Water Quality Project

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) coordinates an innovative water quality monitoring program in area schools to promote youth education and involvement in the Partnership. GBRA staff provide teachers at each school with training on water quality monitoring techniques and deliver classroom lessons covering watersheds, pollution, and the Plum Creek project.

The GBRA donates water monitoring kits, supplies, poster-sized watershed maps, and workbooks to the schools. Fuentes Elementary, Hemphill Elementary, Kyle Elementary, Negley Elementary, Science Hall Elementary, Navarro Elementary, Plum Creek Elementary, Luling High School and Middle School, and Shanklin Elementary have participated.

Students use the Texas Stream Team model to sample water from Plum Creek for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, nitrates, and phosphates. In addition, packets of educational information about the watershed and water quality issues are sent home for students to share with their parents.

Watershed Protection Campaign Brochure

A brochure titled Don't Be Clueless About Water was developed by the GBRA to educate individuals about the impacts of their activities on water quality and how to reduce those impacts. Created for the entire Guadalupe-Blanco River Basin, the Partnership adapted the brochure specifically for the Plum Creek Watershed and distributed copies to students involved in the school water quality project.

Brochures continue to be distributed in student information packets and at educational meetings, training programs, public events, and in mailouts from the Partnership and the GBRA.

Dontbeclueless-f.jpg

Illegal Dumping/Litter Campaign

Identification of Priority Clean-up Sites

Over 35 illegal dumping sites at road crossings were documented while planning the targeted water quality monitoring project. GBRA contractors prioritized these sites based on the extent of the problem and the potential for environmental impacts, and landowners were contacted for permission to conduct clean-up activities. Based on site prioritization, the following activities were conducted:

  • Site Clean-up: Clean-up using heavy equipment was conducted at critical sites to remove and properly dispose of large debris. Efforts included a report on the amount and type of trash removed and photos of the site before and after clean-up.
  • Signs: The GBRA worked with Caldwell and Hays Counties to post signs at clean-up sites and other known watershed dumping sites to discourage future activity.
  • Community Clean-up Events: In cooperation with Keep Texas Beautiful, the GBRA sponsors ongoing community events to remove smaller debris from watershed streams and raise public involvement and awareness of the overall Plum Creek project. Educational materials are distributed at these events and provided to cities and counties for other local community events.
Rainwater Harvesting Education

Extension personnel have coordinated and conducted rainwater harvesting demonstrations to provide information on the benefits, methods, and costs of installing these systems to capture rainwater for use around the home. In addition to an existing demonstration at the Luling Foundation, the Partnership is working with Extension faculty to construct deomnstration sites and host events in Kyle and Lockhart.