Articles

IrrigationNaturalistic Hardscape

Rain Barrel Installation for Vegetable Gardens

Rainwater Harvesting Design Practitioner, Tim Kihnel recently designed and installed a rainwater catchment system that will harvest rain from the roof of a client's residence for use watering her vegetable gardens. ESC poured a concrete slab 38 inches in diameter for a 36-inch galvanized 300-gallon rain barrel from Texas Metal Tanks. Prior to installing the tank, they leveled some natural cut stone along the clients walking path, which is located…
Tim Kihnel
August 28, 2020
Botanical GardensEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNaturalistic HardscapeParks and PreservesPonds and Streams

Riparian Stream Bed at Zilker Botanical Garden

Riparian Stream Bed at Zilker Botanical Garden featured on Central Texas Gardener The Taniguchi Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas was built by Isamu Taniguchi as a gift of peace and tranquility to our city and has made an indelible mark on those who have visited.  When the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy decided to install a riparian stream bed and demonstration garden to connect the Taniguchi Garden to…
Lesley Williamson
February 19, 2019
Environmental Education and InterpretationPonds and Streams

Water Quality Monitoring on Shoal Creek at Seiders Springs

Michael Jones (Texas Stream Team) collecting a water sample earlier this year. Last year, several Environmental Survey Consulting (ESC) staff members decided that we wanted to learn how to monitor water quality for the Colorado River watershed. We contracted Michael Jones with the Texas Stream Team in San Marcos to travel to Austin and provide training. Michael provided in-classroom training at the Austin History Center and then an in-field training…
Ingrid Karklins
December 19, 2018
Native LandscapingNaturalistic HardscapePonds and Streams

A Natural Swimming Pool

A natural swimming pool is constructed so water is clarified and treated by wetland plants rather than chemicals and UV lights. While Europeans have decades of experience with these pools, they are just starting to become popular in the United States. ESC has recently melded its decades of experience with created wetlands for urban runoff treatment with construction of traditional swimming pools and natural fish ponds, using natural Hill Country…
David Mahler
July 12, 2018
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and Interpretation

Spicewood Ranch Receives Land Steward Award

Environmental Survey Consulting is honored and delighted that the Spicewood Ranch has received Texas Parks and Wildlife's Lone Star Land Steward Award for the Edward's Plateau region. Established in 1996, the annual Lone Star Land Steward Awards recognizes and honors private landowners in Texas for their contributions to natural resource conservation and management. ESC has been restoring the ranch for almost 30 years. TPWD's Alan Fisher filmed and produced a…
Ingrid Karklins
June 22, 2018
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNative LandscapingPonds and Streams

Plants and Phytoremediation

Plants and Phytoremediation Unlike raingardens, wet ponds are designed to capture and hold runoff from impervious cover.  Urban runoff can carry pollutants such as gasoline, motor oil, heavy metals, fertilizers, pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, lead, synthetic organic compounds, zinc nitrates and phosphorus.  Phytoremediation is the use of plants for cleaning up contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water and air. Fortunately, the plant communities  ESC establishes and…
Ingrid Karklins
October 17, 2017
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNative LandscapingPonds and StreamsWater Quality

Green Infrastructure for Your Yard

Green Infrastructure for Your Yard With increasing pressure to better handle flood events and improve water quality, many municipalities (including the City of Austin) are implementing measures to slow down, retain, and treat stormwater on-site, allowing it to permeate into the groundwater while carrying less runoff pollution. The methods for accomplishing this are collectively known as green infrastructure. While cities are funding these projects with public money and installing them…
Stan Wilson
October 17, 2017
Botanical GardensEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNative LandscapingNaturalistic HardscapeParks and PreservesPonds and StreamsWater Quality

Evolution of a Stream

Zilker Botanical Gardens Stream Restoration Project - Evolution of a Stream This photo essay illustrates ESC’s process for restoring the stream below the Taniguchi Gardens in the Zilker Botanical Garden. December 21, 2016 – The stream prior to restoration January 3, 2016 – Preparing the site January 5, 2017 -- Removing existing rock and the concrete channel January 9, 2017 -- Excavating down to framework January 12, 2017 – Steel…
Serenity
May 8, 2017
Ecological RestorationNative LandscapingPonds and StreamsWater Quality

Daylighting and Restoring an Urban Creek at Oak Springs

ESC Completes Two Year Program Daylighting and Restoring Urban Creek at Oak Springs In late 2016, ESC completed the restoration of a creek that had been previously capped off and channeled underground.  Existing vegetation was limited to exotic turfgrass and other quick-cover species. ESC's restoration work was performed in conjunction with the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department. The site, at the  corner of Tillery St. and Oak Springs Dr.,…
Stan Wilson
February 6, 2017
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and InterpretationPonds and StreamsWater Quality

Urban Riparian Symposium

ESC will be well-represented at this year's "Urban Riparian Symposium: Balancing the Challenges of Healthy Urban Streams," being held in Houston, Texas, February 15-17 at Rice University.   Presentations include: David Mahler -- Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida): Why This Native Annual Becomes a Problem in Urban Riparian Corridors.” David will discuss his findings on why giant ragweed is not a problem at the Spicewood Ranch, but is a problem in urban…
hscreative
February 6, 2017