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The Geronimo Flow

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The Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership was formed in 2010 to restore and protect water quality in the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed due to elevated levels of bacteria and nitrate-nitrogen.

The Partnership completed a Watershed Protection Plan in 2012 and is now working toward full implementation.  The purpose of this newsletter is to inform and engage local stakeholders in helping to improve and protect the quality of water in Geronimo and Alligator Creeks. For more information about the project visit our website: www.geronimocreek.org
 

Members of the Alamo Group employee volunteer team having a good time cleaning up along Walnut Avenue during the 2016 Creek Clean Up.

Planning is Underway for the 2017 Creek Clean Up

The 5th annual Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Clean Up event is scheduled for Saturday, April 8th, from 9 am till noon. This is a fun time and you will feel good (and tired) about your day, while making a visible difference in the community. Volunteers are asked to sign up online at http://geronimocreek.org/. The day of the event, volunteers will come out at 9 am to one of three registration locations for breakfast tacos, water, and clean up supplies--and a free event T-shirt (free because of our sponsors!). Safety instructions will be provided along with directions to areas needing trash pick up.

Last year, volunteers cleaned 27 locations, such as roads that cross Geronimo and Alligator Creeks, and the large detention pond behind the Town Center at Creekside. One thousand pounds of trash was removed from 17 miles of roadway and creek banks. This would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and the work of 191 volunteers. This is a great way to get community service hours for school!

Financial contributions allow us to provide refreshments and event T-shirts to volunteers. Sponsors can opt for their name and/or logo on the back of the T-shirts, and are noted in all press releases for the clean up. This is a great way to get your name out in the community!

Sponsors for last year's event included: Alamo Group, Becker’s Feed & Fertilizer, the City of New Braunfels, Continental Corporation, Corona Visions Electronic Recycling Inc, Crossroads Veterinary Hospital, Ehlers’ Tree Farm, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Geronimo Creek Retreat, Guadalupe County Groundwater Conservation District, HEB, Parker’s Building Supply, Planet Fitness, Progressive Waste Solutions, Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, and Thrivent Financial.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or assisting with planning (refreshments, advertising, T-shirts, etc), go to http://geronimocreek.org/ or contact Ward Ling .
Wild pigs taken by trapping near Geronimo Creek.

Wild Pigs!

The tracks in the mud told a story to Bryce Kirby—a story he was all too familiar with. Wild pigs, and a lot of them, were on the move. The recent heavy rains had soaked the black topsoil, allowing the herd of pigs to churn it up as they had moved through. Kirby estimated close to 80 pigs were in the group. Scanning the area, it appeared they were all congregated in a parcel of brush that was mostly surrounded by 1,000 acres of field that had been harvested and plowed.

What could he do—what could one person do against a herd of 80 pigs? He started making phone calls. Within an hour, neighbors came together for a tailgate meeting, and a plan was pulled together. Spotters would surround the area on roadways watching for the pigs to emerge from the brush. Pigs would be flushed out by men on foot, while shooters on 4-wheelers would act on information from spotters utilizing cell phones. The 4-wheelers would be slowed by the muddy conditions but, hopefully, so would the pigs.

Close coordination would be required to be effective, but more importantly, to be safe. Men shooting from the 4-wheelers had to be keenly aware of the location of the men on foot, the spotters on the roads, and the layout of the surrounding area.

The work began. The entire herd never flushed all at once. A group was flushed into the open, spotters relayed information to shooters, shooters maneuvered for shots, and pigs were killed. This scenario played out over the next three hours, time and time again. In the end, over 50 wild pigs were removed, a personal best for everyone involved.

Wild pigs have long been a problem for area farmers and ranchers. Their ability to learn from traps, their keen sense of smell, and avoidance of people make their populations very difficult, at best, to control.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has many publications on wild pigs that you can access on the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks website, as well as contact information for an Extension Associate that can advise landowners regarding control methods.
 

Do you know when it is time to have your septic system pumped?

Homeowner Septic System Workshops May 16 in Seguin

When is the last time you had your septic system pumped--do you really need to? Ever wonder what goes on inside that mystery thing out back? Is the additive you are flushing down the drain actually helping? Come get the answers to these and many other questions!

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present a 6-hour class focusing on aerobic systems scheduled for 8:30 am until 3:30 Tuesday, May 16th.  The class is free and will be held at the Guadalupe County AgriLife Extension office at 210 E. Live Oak Street in Seguin.

This 6-hour class will focus on the operation and maintenance activities of aerobic systems, and will certify homeowners in Guadalupe County to maintain their own system. Topics covered will include treatment processes, health and safety considerations, how to inspect and maintain the system, and instruction on how activities in the home can impact the system. The course will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, including when to pump out a tank, and what should not go down the drain.

Seating is limited, so registration is required to reserve a seat. To register for either class, contact Ling at 979-845-6980 or wling@tamu.edu.  For more information about septic systems, go to http://ossf.tamu.edu/

These classes are free to homeowners due to a Clean Water Act grant provided to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
Management of wild pig populations will be one of the focuses of the LSHS workshop.

Lone Star Healthy Streams Workshop

A Lone Star Healthy Streams Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2 from 10am till 3pm, at the Guadalupe County AgriLife Extension office, 210 E. Live Oak Street in Seguin.  Lunch will be provided and 3 general CEUs will be available to Pesticide Applicators, so an RSVP is requested.

The goal of the Lone Star Healthy Streams program is the protection of Texas waterways from bacterial contamination originating from livestock operations and feral hogs that may pose a serious health risk to Texas citizens. To achieve this important goal, the program's objective is the education of Texas farmers, ranchers, and landowners about proper grazing, feral hog management, and riparian area protection to reduce the levels of bacterial contamination in streams and rivers.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Matt Brown at 979.862.8072 or go to http://lshs.tamu.edu/.
 

A Clean Water Act grant was provided to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Protection Plan.

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Contact:
Ward Ling
wling@tamu.edu
979-845-6980
http://www.geronimocreek.org/

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife.

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