Category

Environmental Education and Interpretation

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

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping

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.

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Riparian Stream Bed at Zilker Botanical Garden

By Botanical Gardens, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Naturalistic Hardscape, Parks and Preserves, Ponds and Streams

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 the pond near the Rose Garden, it was Isamu Taniguchi’s grandson, architect…

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Water Quality Monitoring on Shoal Creek at Seiders Springs

By Environmental Education and Interpretation, Ponds and Streams

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 on Shoal Creek at Seiders Springs. We were also joined by several…

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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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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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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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