From Ogallala Commons
Farmers, ranchers, agency personnel, educators, and the interested public are invited to attend a Playa Field Day presented by Ogallala Commons (www.ogallalacommons.org) on Wednesday, November 18th from 9:30am-1:30pm in Lorenzo.
The field day will cover general information about playa ecosystems and restoration programs, plus a presentation on improving quail habitat in playa uplands and rangelands. A tour will be taken at an improved playa on property located near Lorenzo.
Doors will open at 9am in the Lorenzo Community Center (407 Van Buren Ave.) with registration.
The opening presentation will be given by OC Education Intern Emil Turpen, followed by an overview of the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative from Dr. Rachel Fern, Statewide Wetland Program Leader, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
At 10:10, Dr. Brad Dabbert, Burnett Foundation Endowed Professor of Quail Ecology at Texas Tech University, will speak on improving quail habitat on playa uplands and rangelands.
After a short break, David Bateman, owner of Playa Lake Farm and Ranch, LP, and Connor Wilmeth of Wilmeth Farms will present on land management practices that balance wildlife and water conservation with agricultural production.
At 11:20am, the group will depart for a Field Trip to a playa property located about 10 minutes from Lorenzo. The tour will be led by David Bateman and Dr. Dabbert.
At 12:30pm, the tour will return to the Lorenzo Community Center for a sandwich lunch. Jim Steiert, outdoor writer and playa enthusiast from Hereford, TX, will close the event with brief remarks after lunch. His book, Playas: Jewels of the Plains (Texas Tech University Press, 1995) can be purchased at the event for $40.
Playas are shallow, rain-fed wetlands throughout the Great Plains. When containing surface water, playas provide crucial habitat for many wildlife that depend on water to survive.
When dry, playas also support several other Great Plains wildlife species because they are often the only natural lands in a region dominated by agricultural production. Playas also recharge water to the underlying aquifer, filter nutrients and chemicals from the surrounding watershed, and add recreational value to the region.
Registration for the event is $15 per person (which includes the cost of lunch, drinks, and snacks). To register, please email or call to Darryl Birkenfeld, Ogallala Commons Director (email@example.com or by phone at 806-945-2255).
The workshop is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and its partners: High Plains Water District, the Dixon Water Foundation, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Those attending are asked to wear masks during this time of rising COVID-19 cases, plus clothing, footwear, and a hat suitable for the field tour.