Collaborations with partners both regional and local are essential to what we do. From building a regional conservation network and supporting science to better understand and protect our watersheds to helping to create community around healthy food, the arts, and reconnecting to the Earth.

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Texas Hill Country Conservation Network Plans for Action

After working with consultants for over a year to develop a Strategic Plan, THCCN committee members reconvened at WVWA headquarters in early May to present action plans currently being developed to reach a variety of conservation goals over the next four years. Each group focused on a specific area necessary to growing Network capacity and achieving near term goals. Those areas included Land, Water, Public Awareness, Investment, and Partnerships. The working groups reported on their progress and the full committee worked to identify top priorities to into action within the next year. After a round of dot-voting, the top four goals emerged quite clearly:

Launch a Public Awareness Campaign
Develop Shared Branding and Messaging
Focus on Land Conservation (Especially in the I-35 Corridor)
Develop a Governance Structure

A generous grant from the Mitchell Foundation has allowed the Network to hire a coordinator to keep momentum going on this ambitious but vital regional effort. After the productive meeting many of the attendees enjoyed a well deserved plunge into Jacob's Well.

Raccoon Cave Dye Trace Study

In collaboration with Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, Jackson School of Geosciences at UT Austin, and Zara Environmental, WVWA staff participated in a study to determine the extent to which the Dry Cypress Creek upper watershed contributes recharge to Jacob’s Well with greater certainty. Its purpose was to evaluate the hydrologic connection of karst features in the Lower Glenn Rose (Raccoon Cave) with the Cow Creek formation (Jacob’s Well Spring and area wells). Extremely small trace amounts of dye were detected in the well suggesting a weaker than expected connection and underscoring the sheer complexity of the hydrogeology in the Hill Country.

Rebecca Springs Riparian Aquatic Life Monitoring

Located in northeastern Comal County, Rebecca Springs flows from the base of a limestone bluff into the Cypress lined Rebecca Creek, a tributary to the Guadalupe River above Canyon Lake. Purportedly named after Jacob de Cordoba's wife, the spring and surrounding land was acquired by WVWA to protect it from similar threats to the famous spring named after the land agent himself, Jacob's Well. As part of the Clean Rivers Program, WVWA collaborates with Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority staff and Texas Stream Team staff from Meadows Center for Water and the Environment by providing water quality data as well as access to properties like Rebecca Springs for water monitoring fieldwork. WVWA staff recently joined these partners to learn about and assist with aquatic life monitoring. This work is key to establishing baselines and assessing the health of riparian areas in Hill Country watersheds.

Video: Conservation and Art at Jacob's Well

We hope you had a chance to read, in our last newsletter, about all the great work The Texas Conservation Corps did at WVWA headquarters in March. Take a moment to view this entertaining and informative video created by Thomas Waymouth, which sums up that productive week of activities and adventures. We think you'll enjoy it!

Jacob's Well Community Garden Cinco de Mayo Celebration

The Jacob's Well Community Gardeners celebrated the bounties of spring at their May 5th garden party. Attendees enjoyed a stir fry made from veggies harvested fresh from the garden and other tasty dishes provided by individual JWCG members. WVWA is proud to provide this growing gardening space at Logan's Run. All of the garden beds are rented and many future gardeners are on a waiting list. Therefore, they are hoping to expand with three or four additional beds in the near future. While the gardeners use as much rainwater as they can from their four 2,500 gallon tanks, sometimes they do have to rely on groundwater when that supply runs low. For that reason, WVWA is trying to raise $5,000 to buy two additional tanks as well as a solar panels and solar pumps to maximize use of the rainwater using renewable energy. We appreciate the gardeners' hard work and feel privileged to support their efforts to grow healthy food and community.

NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater

In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists have combined an array of NASA satellite observations of Earth with data on human activities to map locations where freshwater is changing around the globe and to determine why. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, finds that Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors, including human water management, climate change and natural cycles.

Read more at NASA...

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Wimberley Valley Watershed Association
PO Box 2534
Wimberley, Texas 78676
512-722-3390
admin@wimberleywatershed.org

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