Parker County SWCD #558
817-594-4672,  EXT 109
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Parker County Soil and Water Conservation District #558

CONSERVATION - DEVELOPMENT - SELF GOVERNMENT

604 North Main, Suite 100
Weatherford, TX 76086

Phone: 817 594-4672, EXT 109

Email: 
parkercountyswcd@tx.nacdnet.org
Range Plants of North Texas
        By: Ricky J. Linex
Exciting News!

    The District is giving away a wonderful book titled “Range Plants of North Central Texas – A Land User’s Guide to Their Identification, Value and Management” written by Ricky J. Linex, as a thank you to those who donate $20 or more to the Parker County SWCD in support of the District’s conservation efforts.  

    Easy to use and beautifully written, the guide is full of colorful pictures of plants and their seeds. This is a great resource for anyone who would like to identify plants growing on their property. 

 Annual Sale:

    Between mid September until mid March we offer wildflower seeds for those interested in low maintenance, but beautiful ground cover. 









​   Bluebonnet seeds are sold in 1 lb. bags for $18, wildflower seed mixes are sold in 1 lb. bags for $26. Planting is generally September through November, weather permitting.  Contact us for more information.


     First Week of October until mid February we offer low cost tree seedlings to landowners. Primarily for privacy screens and windbreaks.











     Containerized seedlings may be ordered individually. We usually have extras on delivery day. Call us for information. 











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​                                                         DID YOU KNOW?

        Watershed Dams Saved Texans Estimated $40 Million in Flood Damage Costs

    Temple, Texas - The month of May was one for the Texas record books. It will go down in history as the wettest May on record, shattering all previous records. Rainfall totals of 15 to 20 inches were documented across the state with many areas receiving more than their average annual rainfall in May alone.

    According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, over 35 trillion gallons of rain fell across Texas in May, which is enough water to cover the entire state of Texas in eight inches of water. 

    While the rains did bring much needed drought relief across the state, it fell in such torrential downpours in many instances that roads and bridges were washed out, stranding motorists and sadly costing the lives of a reported 27 Texans. 

    The story that hasn’t been told is about the damage that didn’t happen thanks to 2,041 watershed dams across the state that quietly functioned as they were designed to do. 

    “The more than 2,000 dam sites across the state that were affected by the rainfall provided at least $40 million in estimated damage reduction benefits from storms throughout the month of May,” says NRCS Landscape Conservation and Planning Leader Lori Ziehr. “Savings include road and bridge damage reduction, reduced loss of crops and livestock and damages to homes.”

    Additionally, the structures also provide improved recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat. Texas watershed dams annually provide over $140 million in benefits to the state.

    According to Ziehr, in addition to the existing 2,041 watershed dam sites, the state would have realized an additional $20 million in damage reduction savings if the 266 planned dams awaiting funding had been constructed.

    These watershed dams often appear to be very large stock ponds or fishing and recreation sites scattered across the countryside, but in a heavy rainfall event their specific design and function is critical. They capture raging floodwaters and hold it, releasing it slowly downstream. Slowing the water’s velocity greatly reduces flood damage. 

    In the 1950s, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service worked with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other sponsors through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to construct these watershed dams, or flood control structures, in an effort to protect homes and property during flooding events. 

    “These structures continue to reduce the impacts of flooding, and they are complimented by conservation practices within the watershed that reduce erosion and improve water quality,” says John Mueller, NRCS State Conservation Engineer. “These watershed dams are an important part of our state’s infrastructure – millions of people depend on them for protection from floods and for providing clean drinking water.”

    All of the NRCS assisted flood control dams are inspected on a regular basis to ensure they are operating as designed. As dams approach their designed life expectancy, they are evaluated and rehabilitation repairs and upgrades are implemented as funding is made available.

    In addition to the Federal government, the State of Texas recognizes the importance of these structures and has made great efforts to help maintain them for the safety of all Texans. In 2010 the Texas Legislature approved funding for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) to assist these watershed dam sponsors in caring for the structures. 

    “Since then, the TSSWCB Flood Control Program has provided local watershed sponsors $8 million for maintenance, and $22 million for repair and rehabilitation of the watershed program dams,” states John Foster, TSSWCB program officer. “The State Flood Control Program has played an important role to ensure that the dams function properly during extreme conditions, such as those we have recently experienced."

    “It is important to remember, that while all of our sites functioned as designed during the recent heavy rainfall, historic events will result in flood flows through the auxiliary spillways of the flood control structure,” Mueller adds. “Extreme caution should always be taken in flood zones.”

    In addition to the structures, private landowners across the state also played a part in the network of conservation systems designed to reduce flood damage during rain events like Texas just experienced. 

    For example, Texas landowners have more than 8 million acres of the state voluntarily applying a conservation plan with the NRCS. Most of these plans include implementing conservation practices that reduce areas of bare soil by increasing the amount of grass and plants that cover the ground. During flooding events, the ground cover serves to slow the water down and trap sediment and debris before entering waterways. Terraces, buffer strips and grassed waterways are also effective conservation or management practices that reduce erosion, improve water conservation and create wildlife habitat. 

    “It is in these historic rainfall events that we can really value the benefit of these flood control structures,” says Mueller. “Combined with the conservation practices landowners have established, damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railroad tracks is greatly reduced.

     For more information on the NRCS watershed program, or for information on installing conservation practices on your land to help prevent erosion and reduce flooding, contact your local NRCS office located in the USDA Service Center, or learn more at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov

    PLANTING BECOMES A BREEZE             WITH THE DISTRICT'S  
BRILLION GRASS SEED DRILL 
                        OR   
OUR TURBO SPREADER SEEDER

     For landowners who enjoy working the land, the District's Brillion Grass Seed Drill will make planting, or over- seeding of pastures, a breeze. The seeder is 10 ft. wide, 12 ft. wide with wheels on the ground for transport.     The seeder requires a tractor equipped with rear hydraulics (3 point linkage) to raise and lower the wheels for transport. A copy of the Operator's Manual will be provided at the time the equipment is picked up. The District charges $5.00 an acre and a day charge of $25.00 for up to 30 acres.     An acreage meter keeps count of the acres seeded, brushes in the fluffy seed box push the out the smaller seeds, while the slick seed box has an agitator to move the seed along. Fillers are recommended to provide bulk. A $50.00 deposit is required at the time the Rental Agreement is signed.

    The seeder should only be used on clean, firm, seedbeds that are free of stumps and rocks of any size. If the seed bed is too wet or crusty, the grass seed roller will "ball up", so the firmer the seedbed the better stand of grass. A good rule of thumb - you should barely leave a footprint when walking across the field. 
    Some people firm the seedbed by rolling it before planting, while others plant the seed then roll the seedbed. Both ways work when establishing a crop. 
    Turner Seed in Breckenridge recommends rolling the seedbed before planting, but believe it is best to roll before and after seeding. The seeder drops the seed and the rollers press it in to a 1/2" before covering it up. Good seed/soil contact is very important.

    For areas not suited for a grass drill, the District also rents out a Turbo Spreader Seeder for a flat $25.00 per day. The heavy-duty spreader fits on the back of a tractor (a 3 point linkage) and distributes seed at a uniform rate in a 10 ft. strip. Excellent for small acreages or for seeding hard to get to areas in small pastures, the Turbo Spreader is ideal.

    And don't forget safety. When transporting farm equipment keep a watchful eye on traffic coming up behind. Farm equipment travels at a slower mph than normal driving. As an example, the District's seeder is pulled at a rate of no more than 30 miles an hour. 
    Also, never drive with one wheel on the road and the other on the shoulder as it could increase your chances of an accident. When using any farm equipment, watch out for uneven ground as well as animals that could appear suddenly from surprising places. Wear proper clothing and never operate farm equipment when sick, medicines slow reaction time.

       Conservation Pledge:

I give my pledge to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my county-its soil and minerals, its forests, water, and wildlife.
                      Rain Barrels​


    All year round, we offer rain barrels for water harvesting, made from food grade recycled containers. Once ordered they are delivered to your door! 















    Rain barrels with various attachments are available all year long, but now is the time to start storing water for your gardening needs next summer. 
















    And the good news just keeps coming – RAIN WATER HARVESTING EQUIPMENT AND RAIN BARRELS ARE TAX EXEMPT

    Contact us for more information!




     Our board meetings are on the First         Thursday of every month. 

     Each meeting starts at 9 am.

    You are  welcome to attend any of                 these meetings.

                                        2015
       Pasture Walk/Cattle Management

                        Friday, July 10, 2015
                            1:00-3:30 p.m.
          10708 Granbury Hwy, Weatherford, 76087

                                    Topics:

    Rotational Grazing           Brush Management
    Stockers on the Gain       Grass Management\
    Prescribed Burning          Rainwater Harvesting

                                   Speakers:

    Chris Farley - TCU Range Mgmt/Cattle Raiser
    Ron Gill - Extension Livestock Specialist
    Kevin Derzapf - NRCS Range Specialist 
        Other NRCS & Extension Personnel

                1 CEU for pesticide applicators!

    This is an opportunity for livestock owners or anyone intersted in raising livestock to come visit and learn. It's totally casual and FREE! No need to register - just show up. This will be held in a pasture setting and may include limited physical exertion. You agree to any risks taken are your own decision with no liability to landowners or field day partners and personnel. 

For more information call 817-598-6168  or  817-594-4731.