Articles

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 bed prior to construction. January 3, 2017: Preparing the site. January 5, 2017: Removing existing rock and concrete channel. January 9, 2017: Excavating down to the framework. January 12, 2017: Installed steel framework. January…
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
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and Interpretation

Spicewood Ranch After 23 Year of Restoration: What we Have Accomplished and Learned

When restoration on the 1200 acre Spicewood Ranch started in 1988, the vegetation was typical of much of the Texas Hill Country. Most of the palatable native grass species were gone or greatly reduced with KR bluestem dominating, and the surviving forb and woody plants were reduced to unpalatable species such as Mexican hat, horsemint, live oak and Texas persimmon. Restoration practices, including controlled burns, cedar removal, deer reduction, high…
David Mahler
October 24, 2016
Ecological RestorationNative LandscapingParks and PreservesPonds and StreamsWater Quality

ESC Water Quality Projects

ESC Leading Numerous Water Quality Projects in Austin’s Urban Core Over the past three years Environmental Survey Consulting (ESC) has engaged in numerous projects along Lady Bird Lake and contributing creeks, all of which serve to stabilize vulnerable riparian slopes, catch and treat runoff from impervious cover, and slow down and dissipate storm flows to reduce flood severity. By using the principles of ecological restoration on these projects, ESC is…
Stan Wilson
June 15, 2016
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and Interpretation

Spicewood Ranch Field Trip

Since 1988, Environmental Survey Consulting (ESC) has been conducting active habitat restoration of the 1200 acre Spicewood Ranch.  On May 14 2016,  David Mahler led a tour of almost 40 people to explore areas of management success, including prairie restoration, woody species propagation in cedar (Juniperus ashei) breaks, and balancing deer browse pressure with revegetation efforts.  Prairie restoration strategies included controlled burns followed by seeding with commercial and wild-harvested native…
Ingrid Karklins
June 15, 2016
Ecological RestorationEnvironmental Education and InterpretationNative Landscaping

Palatabilty Ranking of Texas Native Plant Species for Deer

A Palatability Ranking of Central Texas Hill Country Forb and Woody Plant Species for White-Tailed Deer David Mahler has ranked central Texas hill country forb and woody native plant species on their ability to survive white-tailed deer browse pressure. Species ranked 1 can survive under very high browse conditions while species ranked 5 can only survive under very low browse conditions or in protected areas. As an interesting note, some…
David Mahler
February 10, 2016
Native Landscaping

Six Native Texas Plants That Can Tolerate Flood And Drought

Six Native Texas Plants that Can Tolerate Flood and Drought Texas weather can be fickle to extremes, especially when compounded with global climate change and changes in storm patterns. In the past year Central Texas and the southwest experienced both extended drought and historical flooding resulting in altered landscape conditions. ESC has observed a few plants in both our residential landscape projects and ecological restoration efforts that have achieved a…
Stan Wilson
February 3, 2016
Environmental Education and Interpretation

Engaging Volunteers

Engaging Volunteers for the Environment Austin is fortunate to have a community of active, environmentally and socially responsible people ready and willing to donate their time to meaningful projects that improve our health, education, and quality of life. ESC has been involved in many projects over the years that involve volunteers, but maintaining and rewarding the interest and enthusiasm of volunteers can sometimes be a challenge. ESC has been able…
Stan Wilson
October 8, 2014