TGR NEWS - September 2020
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“Learn and Live” at Panther Springs Park
Third in a series of six articles.
Numerous natural areas and community parks beautify Northern Bexar County where the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) works to preserve and protect the Trinity Aquifer each day. In addition to these parks’ aesthetic value, they also play a major part in preventing pollution from entering the Trinity Aquifer and Edwards Aquifer which are both critical to the water supply in Bexar County. To highlight pollution prevention message, TGR is bringing its constituents an informative series about the six major parks and natural areas in the district. This month, we are highlighting Panther Springs Park located at 22635 Wilderness Oak, which is north of Loop 1604 and off of Blanco Road.
Panther Springs Loop is a 3.6-mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near San Antonio, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers in the spring, hill country type wooded areas and many beautiful open meadow-like vistas.
The trails are paved and considered good for all skill levels of hikers, walkers and runners.
The park, which opened in March of 2015, consists of 279 acres which were donated by Dan Parman and the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). The dog park which is located near the entrance of the park includes areas for larger dogs and one for smaller ones. Bird watchers have documented 46 different species in the park to include the Greater Roadrunner, two species of hawks and numerous other types of smaller, colorful birds.
The San Antonio River Authority collaborated with the City of San Antonio in the development of Panther Springs. SARA’s portion of the project included design and construction work to improve the water and sediment conveyance in the existing natural channel. The agency continues to monitor the stream for changing conditions as the landscape slowly changes over time.
Preserving the community’s natural areas goes a long way toward helping efforts to maintain excellent water quality in local aquifers and other waterways. That is why the Trinity Glen Rose District is urging you to learn about the parks and to live a little by visiting each one to experience the environmental beauty and ecological benefits they provide.
Watersaver Landscape Tour Goes “Virtual”
While the Coronavirus pandemic continues to dictate the need to preclude large community gatherings, that has not dampened the enthusiasm for continuing the Watersaver Landscape Tour in 2020. The Gardening Volunteers of South Texas (GVST), San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) are still gearing up to bring you an inside look at some nice-looking landscapes in San Antonio, but this year you’ll being hopping on Zoom rather than a tour bus.
“We had to do a little reimagining of the Landscape Tour, but we now have a great plan to conduct the tour online,” said TGR Assistant General Manager Amanda Maloukis. “This year, we will be featuring landscapes in Sonterra. We will be producing some short videos with beautiful photography to give attendees a first-hand look at various types of plants used in our featured landscapes as well as some interesting ideas people can use to remake their own yards. Our sponsors will be providing some awesome prize packages and we’re planning to have some time for questions and answers toward the end of the online broadcast.”
Be sure to watch the TGR Resource Newsletter for more updates in the coming weeks.
TGR Declares Stage 1 of Drought Contingency Plan
Following the declaration of Stage 1 water restrictions by San Antonio Water System and Edwards Aquifer Authority, the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) declared STAGE 1 water restrictions in compliance with the District’s Drought Contingency Plan effective as of Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
According to the current US Drought Monitor, Northern Bexar County is categorized as experiencing “Abnormally Dry” and “Moderate Drought” conditions. The Drought Monitor is one measure used to determine the need to move from one drought stage to another. Additionally, the District may choose to initiate drought stages corresponding with the major public water systems serving residents within the District boundaries declaration of drought stages, as well as, water level data gathered from monitor wells chosen by TGR that represent groundwater level fluctuations and declines.
In reviewing data obtained from the District monitor well network, declines continue throughout the District over the last 30 day period.
Stage 1 conservation measures include:
• Non-exempt users shall reduce water usage by 5% over prior year.
• Non-public swimming pools covered a minimum of 25% by evaporation screens.
• Water wasting, including washing impervious cover (ex. driveways), prohibited.
• Hand watering with hose or bucket on non-designated watering days.
• Reduce landscape watering to once per week on designated watering day:
Time to Have your Sprinkler System Checked
July through September is typically the hottest and driest stretch of weather we see in South Texas each year. Any by now you know that means that your water conservation knowledge and skills should be on high alert. Because landscape watering can account for up to 60 percent of the city’s water use during this time of year, the Trinity Glen Rose District always like to remind homeowners and business owners to have their sprinkler systems inspected before the systems are turned on for regular use. Wasted water cannot be retrieved, so you only get one chance to efficiently use the water provided by the city’s water resources such as the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.
The quickest do-it-yourself way to check your system is to start it up and then inspect each of the sprinkler heads in all of the system’s zones. Look for broken heads or heads that have sunken below ground. Then make sure that the heads are not watering the streets and sidewalks. Then you can observe whether there is adequate water pressure feeding each sprinkler head. A broken pipe or sprinkler head can drain away pressure and waste significant amounts of water.
Also, if you have been slowly and steadily replacing high water use plants with native low water use plants, you might make sure that your sprinkler system either does not water areas with native plants or waters only a little.
Here is some great news for you. The Trinity Glen Rose District and San Antonio Water System have teamed up over the last few years to offer free irrigation system consultation programs. In fact, TGR will give you a $50 coupon to have the consultation done. Just go to www.TrinityGlenRose.com/conservation for more information.
TGR Addressing COVID-19 Virus Health Safety Concerns
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) staff relocated to a new office in Helotes just before the March COVID-19 virus pandemic declarations by the State of Texas and City of San Antonio.
As of July 6, District staff alternate days throughout the week to minimize risk to constituents, staff and the general public by reducing group interactions. In the event an in-person appointment is needed, we will make every effort to accommodate. We will conduct a temperature screening prior to entering the office and require that all individuals present wear a mask and maintain 6' social distancing at all times. We will continue to monitor public health reports and recommendations and will continue to make future decisions based on the guidance provided by public health officials.
If you need assistance, you may call the office at 210-698-1155 and leave a message or you may call 210-219–5555 to contact someone directly.
New TGR District office location address:
Physical: 14789 Old Bandera Road, Suite 105, Helotes, Texas 78023
Mailing: 12790 FM 1560 N Box 1589, Helotes, Texas 78023
TGR Publishes 2019 Annual Report
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) just published its 2019 Annual Report. The TGR board reviewed the report in early March and approved the document for publication at its March meeting.
The 2019 Annual Report provides good background on the:
purpose of the district
well monitoring work
financial position, and
community outreach programs
This year, the District included two charts which outline TGR’s involvement in regional GMA-9 joint water planning efforts required by the State of Texas. The charts provide a 10-year history of water use in the region and how that compares to the region’s goals for water production from the Trinity Aquifer. Those goals are known as “desired future conditions.”