District Staff Busy With October 2019 Educational Events

HPWD staff provided water conservation information to nearly 1,800 persons at 19 presentations during October 2019.  These included the annual “Ag in the Bag” event for students, Ogallala Commons playa field days, Dimmitt City Council, Levelland Lions Club, and West Texas Golf Course Superintendent Conference—just to name a few.

 “Fall is our busiest time for educational events – and this year is no exception,” said HPWD Education and Outreach Coordinator Katherine Drury.  “Most of the presentations we gave in October were for elementary school students. The presentation topics included the Ogallala Aquifer, water quality, and water conservation. In all of our youth presentations, we empower kids to take conservation in to their own hands with various tips and ideas on how they can help preserve the Ogallala Aquifer.”

HPWD Education and Outreach Coordinator Katherine Drury uses a "mini aquifer" to demonstrate groundwater contamination to elementary school students from Slaton. The students and their teacher visited the HPWD office during an Oct. 23 field trip to the HPWD office.

HPWD Education and Outreach Coordinator Katherine Drury uses a "mini aquifer" to demonstrate groundwater contamination to elementary school students from Slaton. The students and their teacher visited the HPWD office during an Oct. 23 field trip to the HPWD office.

 HPWD staff also participated in several community events in October.

 At the Oct. 10 Hub City BBQ in Lubbock, our cooking team won fourth place in the Mystery Meat Challenge (bacon) and seventh place in desserts.  During the event, HPWD staff

provided 300 reusable bags containing water conservation tips and rain gauges to attendees.

 HPWD celebrated Fall with neighbors in the Heart of Lubbock Neighborhood (HOL). Staff provided coloring books, rain gauges and water conservation information to attendees at the Oct. 26 HOL Community Garden Harvest Festival. HPWD also donated a rainwater harvesting barrel for a raffle that raised funds for the community garden.

 HPWD offers a wide range of educational programs and materials for all water users. This includes adults, agricultural producers, businesses, homeowners, and students of all ages. 

 “If you would like a presentation about local water resources, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, or any other water-related topic, call us at (806)762-0181 or fill out our online form at www.hpwd.org/schedule-a-presentation,” said Drury.

National Garden Month: Incorporate native plants into landscapes to save water

April is National Garden Month! Incorporating native plants in your landscape can provide color and save water at the same time.
 
“Native plants have adapted to withstand the Panhandle-South Plains climate. Not only are they accustomed to our dry, hot weather -- but native plants are an important component of our regional ecology. They can help support pollinators and other wildlife,” says Education/Outreach Coordinator Katherine Drury with High Plains Underground Water Conservation District in Lubbock. She is also a Texas Master Gardener.
 
“HPWD would like to share some favorite native plants that are beautiful and have low water requirements,” she said.
 
American Basketflower is a striking Texas native. This beautiful purple wildflower often blooms along roadways in spring. “Basket flower” refers to the straw-colored bracts beneath the flower head. Although it resembles a thistle, it lacks their prickly characteristics.

AMERICAN BASKETFLOWER

AMERICAN BASKETFLOWER

Blackfoot Daisy can be found growing during the driest and hottest of years. Local horticulture experts reportedly found a mound of Blackfoot Daisies during the 2011 drought. These little flowers grow in low mounds and are perfect for flower beds.

BLACKFOOT DAISY

BLACKFOOT DAISY

Chocolate Daisy is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Not only is it a beautiful, drought-tolerant perennial, but it actually smells like chocolate!

CHOCOLATE DAISY

CHOCOLATE DAISY


Prairie Coneflower can be found across Texas. It is a quick and aggressive grower that is easily started from seed. If you are growing these in your garden, allow the plants to go to seed after flowering ceases in Autumn. You can then collect the seeds or mow down the stalks.

PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER

PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER

Tahoka Daisy is native to the Texas South Plains. It was first discovered in 1898 at Tahoka Lake. The Tahoka Daisy, also called Prairie Aster, is an annual wildflower that prefers sand or gravel soils in full sun.
 

TAHOKA DAISY

TAHOKA DAISY

“These are just a few of the native plants available for local landscapes.  Homeowners should consider using plants that flourish in high temperatures and low rainfall conditions,” says Drury.

Water conservation education series scheduled

The first day of spring is just a couple of months away.

With that in mind, it is time to start thinking about adding water saving practices to your 2019 landscape.

Join Randall County AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agent Erin Jones-Gray and a group of local experts in February as they share water conservation techniques for the Texas Panhandle.

Each session is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Happy State Bank Academic and Research Building, West Texas A&M University, 600 WTAMU Drive, in Canyon.

The cost is $10 per person. This allows persons to attend one or all six workshops, if desired.

The sessions are as follows:

▪ February 4: “Selecting Plants for the Texas High Plains” with Neal Hinders of Canyon’s Edge Nursery.

▪ February 11: “Rainwater Harvesting” with Katherine Drury of High Plains Underground Water Conservation District.

▪ February 25: “Tree Care in Years of Drought” with Ben Wethington of Wethington Landscape Management.

▪ March 4: “Managing Irrigation Systems” with Roger Gloe, President of the Randall County Master Gardeners. He is a Texas licensed irrigator.

▪ March 18: “Watering Landscapes in the Texas Panhandle” with Larry Bedwell, Grounds/Transportation Manager for West Texas A&M University.

 March 25: “Soil Fertility” with Fred Vocasek of ServiTech.

Additional information is available by calling (806) 468-5543 or emailing erin.jones@ag.tamu.edu.

Hereford ISD students win 2018 H2You Contest

Hereford H2You Contest Winners for social media.jpg

Aubrey Schueler and Victoria Betzen give their winning presentation to a panel of judges at the HPWD office.


Hereford High School students Victoria Betzen and Aubrey Schueler are winners of the 2018 H2YOU water conservation awareness contest, sponsored by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD).

Betzen and Schueler presented their municipal water conservation campaign to a panel of judges at the HPWD office on January 25. Nathan Betzen and Amy Schueler are the team sponsors.

Judges were Vikram Baliga, Lubbock County Extension Agent-Horticulture; Darrell Newsom, City Manager of Wolfforth; and Victoria Whitehead, HPWD Governmental Affairs Director.

Using the theme, “Splash to the Future,” Betzen and Schueler examined use of irrigation scheduling, soil moisture sensors, artificial turf and xeriscaping, leak detection, rainwater harvesting, greywater use, and enforcing water waste ordinances as ways to save water for the future.

The Hereford High School students earned an all-expense paid trip to Austin, where they will present their water conservation campaign to their state representative and/or members of the Texas Water Development Board.  They will also give their presentation at an upcoming meeting of the HPWD Board of Directors.

Second place honors went to Aubrie Fields, Rori Phillips, and Emma Rich of Sudan High School. The FFA members’ campaign, “Our Water – Our Future” shared information about water conservation techniques used by local agricultural producers, Red Rock Dairy at Amherst, and the “Plant X” / Tolk Station electric generating stations in Lamb County.

Third place went to Koby Houston, Haley Lawson, Brandon Madison, and Kayla Rodriquez of Crosbyton High School. Their campaign, “Be Green, Let’s Go…Save H2O” included a public awareness component in which the students provided water conservation tips that they distributed to the public at their local bank, pharmacy and store.

“The HPWD Board of Directors and staff commend the student teams for their hard work, insight, and dedication in addressing water conservation issues. The judges were very impressed with the students and their presentations,” said Katherine Drury, HPWD Education and Outreach Coordinator.