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Johnson City Library Program Teaches Residents How They Can Protect Rivers and Streams

The Pedernales River as it flows through Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

JOHNSON CITY — Residents can do their part to protect local rivers and streams with simple tasks, even if they don’t live near water.

That’s the message Daniel Oppenheimer, land manager of the Hill Country Alliance, will be presenting during his talk “Restoring Creekside Habitat by Controlling Invasive Species; Invasive Plants of the Pedernales River Basin” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the Johnson City Library, 501 Nugent Ave. Refreshments will be served during the free program.

Oppenheimer said he’ll emphasize planting native species. Non-native, invasive plants, though pretty, have an effect on the region’s ecology, economy, and public safety, he said.

He’ll explain the dangers of the Chinaberry and Arundo donax, which are giant reed or river cane, to the fish and wildlife habitat and socio-economic values.

“They’re on the Pedernales River and can be found in our backyards,” he said. “There are ongoing efforts to control them.”

Oppenheimer also will give what he called “a big picture understanding of where the water comes from.”

Some rainwater goes into creeks and rivers, while groundwater comes from springs and aquifers, he said. Oppenheimer will show one change that will make a huge difference when homeowners do yard work: leaving a growth zone or a buffer that will slow the water when it rains.

“The ground will absorb the water,” he said.

Call the library at (830) 868-4469 for more information.

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