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
Range Plants of North Texas
By: Ricky J. Linex
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.
We offer low cost tree seedlings to landowners primarily for privacy screens and windbreaks.
Containerized seedlings may be ordered individually. We will have extra on delivery day. Call us for information.
Wildflower seeds are also available 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. These are not sold all year round. Contact us for more information.
We also offer rain barrels for water harvesting, made from food grade recycled containers.
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! For a look at all the offerings, go to our supplier’s website at www.auntmollysrainbarrels.com .
GUTTERS CAN MEAN GALLONS OF WATER FOR LANDSCAPING
By Jacob Shaffer
Gutter, by definition, is a trough fixed under or along the eaves of a roof for draining rainwater, a simple definition in such a stressful time of drought. I am writing to encourage residents to ponder the concept of installing gutters on their roof eaves. With water restrictions threatening in the near future, we should all think about ways to conserve water and harvesting rainwater is a great option. Many residents have beautiful trees and other landscaping that could find themselves on the dry end of the hose. Harvesting rainwater from a roof could save a few hundred or even thousands of gallons depending on the storage tank size.
Still not convinced? Then let us crunch a few numbers. Take a 60 x 40 foot rooftop that is 2,400 square feet. If approximately 0.62 gallons of water is run off for every square foot of roof from a 1 inch rainfall event that results is around 1,488 gallons of water. What?!? A one inch rain in Parker County? Ok, ok, so let us use a 0.2 inch rain, that is still around 298 gallons of water. The moral is; gutters, downspouts and storage tanks can be used to capture a significant amount of water, which can later be used to water landscaping, livestock, or other water needs.
The UDSA Service Center Building in Weatherford has a fairly simple water harvesting system, which is setup for public viewing. The system was setup by the Parker County Master Gardner’s http://www.pcmg-texas.org and is used to water the land-scaping in front of the building. So before stage 4 water restrictions arrive, now is a great time to install gutters, obtain a storage tank or barrel and prepare for the next rainfall event, whether it is 0.2 or 2.0 inches!
For more information about harvesting rainwater please visit the follow website http://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu.
For more information about the rainwater harvesting demonstration project, please visit the Parker County USDA Service Center at 604 N. Main St.
Important Annual Tree Sale Information:
Still want trees? A limited number of seedlings in plastic containers are still available for sale!
They are Afgjanistan Pine, American Plum, Austrian Pine, Baldcypress, Deodara Cedar, Hackberry, Italian Stone Pine, Lacebark Elm, Osage Orange, Pinyon Pine, and Sand Plum.
Call and reserve your seedlings today or come by to see what we still have in stock!
TREES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK UP AT OUR OFFICE 8:30 – 2:00, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015.
THE STATE’S O&M GRANT PROGRAM FOR SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
On November 1, 2013, Governor Rick Perry renewed the certification of exceptional drought conditions originally set out in an Emergency Disaster Proclamation dated July 5, 2011. Even though the drought began in October of 2010, little rain and high summer temperatures made 2011 the driest year since recording started in 1895. Summer temperatures were estimated to be 2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Also making 2011 the most intense one-year drought ever. Statewide, the state’s reservoirs are estimated to be at 60.6% full, while 90% of the state is still in some type of drought condition. Even though Parker County now ranks in the “moderate” category, strains on the county’s water supply are becoming apparent. At this time, water in many of the District’s flood control structures is at historic lows, while some are even considered dry. Planning and design of floodwater retarding structures includes an allowance for anticipated sediment accumulation. At this time the District does not foresee a need or have funds available to dredge the lakes of sediment. But there is good news. The State of Texas has reinstated the O&M Grant Program for Soil and Water conservation Districts. Over the next 4 biennium, the District will receive a designated amount to remove trees and other woody vegetation, rebuild fences and replace gates, resolve erosion issues on the dam and in the spillway, repair minor wave erosion and trailing by livestock, replacement of eroded corrugated pipe ends, and repair/ replacement of valves and valve stem. While the District’s priority is clearing sites, less costly O&M needs could be addressed while working on a site.