Community Science Programs

GBRA Youth Education and Plum Creek School Water Quality Project

To promote youth education and involvement in the Partnership, a water quality monitoring program was initiated in the 2006-2007 school year and is being conducted annually. Thousands of students and teachers from Hays ISD, Lockhart ISD, and Luling ISD schools have participated in classroom instruction and hands-on investigation of water quality in Plum Creek since 2006. The GBRA Ag Fair held each year at the Big Red Barn near Seguin, TX, has provided hands-on educational opportunities for thousands of area elementary students throughout the Guadalupe-Blanco River Watershed, including Plum Creek Elementary Schools. Each year, the Plum Creek WC demonstrates runoff potential and erosion effects for a variety of land uses and land cover types using a rainfall simulator

Volunteer Monitoring

Texas Stream Team (TST) is an environmental education and monitoring program administered by Texas State University-San Marcos funded through a Clean Water Act §319 grant from TCEQ. TST is a network of trained volunteers collecting water quality data on lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and estuaries across the state. TST has a strong presence in the Plum Creek watershed with volunteers monitoring 18 locations in the watershed (Figure 10). In addition to their trainings regularly held in San Marcos, TST has provided numerous educational opportunities for watershed stakeholders.

Texas Watershed Stewards

Texas Watershed Steward

The Texas Watershed Steward (TWS) program is a statewide one-day educational program designed to improve the quality of Texas’ water resources by educating and informing local stakeholders about their watershed, potential impairments, and steps that can be taken to help improve and protect water quality in their watershed. The program is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and made possible through a Clean Water Act §319(h) nonpoint source grant from the TSSWCB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Lone Star Healthy Streams (LSHS)

Lone Star Healthy Streams

Program provides rural landowners with education on reducing the amount of bacteria entering Texas water bodies. The program is providing a coordinated and comprehensive education program designed to increase awareness of the bacteria issues associated with grazing and dairy cattle, poultry, horses and feral hogs; and encourages voluntary implementation of BMPs to reduce bacteria runoff, which will ultimately lead to improved water quality. Development of this program was initiated in 2007 by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and TWRI with funding through CWA §319(h) grants from TSSWCB and EPA. For more information visit the Lone Star Healthy Streams Program.

Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters Program

Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices for residential landscape. At workshops, attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions. Participants will also receive a free soil test bag and soil test analysis through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory.