Category

Ecological Restoration

Plants and Phytoremediation

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams

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…

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Rain Garden

Green Infrastructure for Your Yard

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

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…

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Oak Springs Restoration

Daylighting and Restoring an Urban Creek at Oak Springs

By Ecological Restoration, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

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.,…

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Urban Riparian Symposium

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

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…

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Ranchland Restoration

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

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation

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…

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ESC Water Quality Projects

By Ecological Restoration, Native Landscaping, Parks and Preserves, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

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…

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Spicewood Ranch Field Trip

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation

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…

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Palatabilty Ranking of Texas Native Plant Species for Deer

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping

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…

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