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Posts Tagged ‘parks’

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Smiles from Jerry Dollinger of the Gulf Coast chapter, Chris Kneupper of the Cradle of Texas chapter, and Ray Rottman and Nancy Saint of the Galveston Bay Area chapter of Texas Master Naturalists light up a cloudy summer day.

The wetland plant nursery at Exploration Green conservation area is up and running! We held our first volunteer morning on Thursday, September 4, with the able assistance of the Texas Master Naturalists. We loved the cooler overcast weather, even if it meant waiting out a 20 minute tropical downpour. About a hundred sprigs each of Maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)and Marsh hay cordgrass (Spartina patens) were potted up and added to the nursery ponds you can see in the background here.

The nursery will provide plants for the stormwater-cleansing wetlands planned for Exploration Green. These stormwater wetlands will be a model for naturally managing water pollution in our region.
Thursday mornings in the nursery will be a regular event and will be open to all interested volunteers in October. Contact Mary Carol Edwards for more information.

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Signs of an invasion were everywhere on a recent visit to the floating wetland islands at the Education Village. Plants had been devoured from the floating wetlands like they were buffet tables at SouperSalad. The students’ plantings along the shores of the stormwater pond were also missing. All around were footprints and scat from the prime suspect: nutria.

nutria composite

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A scene from Cup and Saucer wetlands in Canterbury, NSW, Australia. Source: Sydney Water

Many of us are visual learners, and video-sharing sites like YouTube come to the rescue when we want to gain an understanding of something new and uncommon. That goes for learning about stormwater wetlands too—although good videos portraying them are few and far between. Stormwater wetlands don’t do hilarious tricks or say cute things, and at least for now, they aren’t abundant subjects for filming. However, the key to familiarizing people with their benefits—water quality improvements, habitat, and flood control, among others—is having good examples to which we can refer. Until there are ample stormwater wetland demonstration projects in the Galveston Bay Area, we can rely on “distance learning” through articles, photos, and now, video.

I had a look and curated a few videos to give you the idea of how a stormwater wetland appears.

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Water lilies in the Mason Park wetlands (Photo: Milt Gray), public bikes (Wikimedia Commons)

Water lilies in the Mason Park wetlands (Photo: Milt Gray), public bikes (Wikimedia Commons)

Once in a while, a newspaper article about pedestrian bridges makes a brush with stormwater management. Sounds pretty random, right?

This recent one in the Houston Chronicle doesn’t spell out the connections between transportation planning and managing stormwater, but we know that vehicles are a source of pollutants which wash off roads into storm drains. (more…)

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Many park destinations are along Houston’s bayous, but often you can’t follow the waterway from one destination to the next. That’s a limitation when you want to travel through the park–walking the dog, running, or biking–as opposed to settling in for a picnic or sunbath.  Happily, the Bayou Greenways 2020 program will fill the missing links between public green spaces with a continuous trail system along the major bayous. (more…)

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