Blog

Environmental Education and InterpretationPonds and StreamsWater Quality

Celebrating Water Quality Month by Volunteering with LCRA!

Did you know that August is Water Quality Month?  The work the we do at ESC is entirely in service to our natural resources, including water!  Our services include green storm water infrastructure, as well as native landscape design and installation that reduces or even eliminates the need for irrigation, supplemental feeding, and herbicide, all of which can negatively affect our shared waterways. In addition to our regular work, our…
Lesley Williamson
August 27, 2021
Environmental Education and InterpretationNative Landscaping

Plant Spotlight: Tradescantia gigantea

Tradescantia gigantea, also known as giant spiderwort. During our recent deep freeze and snowfall, most of our native plant species were able to survive, even as many exotic species perished. One early spring bloomer that survived during the freeze was giant spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea). Even though this perennial plant’s long, slender leaves were already apparent prior to the freeze, they came out nearly unscathed (some leaf tips experienced “freeze burn”).…
Stan Wilson
April 9, 2021
Native Landscaping

How to Choose Natives for a Resilient Landscape

Appalled by the devastation wreaked on your plants by the Valentine’s freeze?  Before you run out to replace your “native” plants, here are a few excellent resources for determining what plants are truly native, and dramatically increase the survivability of your landscape.  Texas is a big state with over 3,000 native plant species.  With the ever-increasing popularity of planting native, big box stores have jumped on the bandwagon and frequently add “Texas native” to labeling.  But “Texas native”…
Ingrid Karklins
March 25, 2021
Ecological RestorationParks and Preserves

No-Till Native Seed Drill For Hire!

ESC is now the proud owner of a Truax No-Till Seed Drill, and we are ready to assist you with your prairie restoration seeding projects. The Truax model FLXII 86-U has three seed boxes designed to accommodate the variability in native grass and forb species: small seed such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) fluffy seed such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) or chaffy wild-harvested seed.  This box has a picker wheel…
Chris Newton
February 4, 2021
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNative Landscaping

Harvest and Use of Native Seed in the Garden and in Restoration

ESC Ecologist, David Mahler's presentation, Harvest and Use of Native Seed in the Garden and in Restoration, originally preseted at the online chapter meeting of Native Plant Society of Texas, San Antonio is now available for your (FREE) viewing pleasure.  Learn how to ethically and effectively harvest seeds, as learned by Mahler in his decades of restoration work at Spicewood Ranch.
Lesley Williamson
September 24, 2020
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