Practicing Pollution Prevention Each Day
Over the next few months, the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District is going to be featuring some of the beautiful parks that are located within the District’s boundaries. The bottom line is that parks, water and pollution prevention go hand-in-hand. So, the more you know about how those three work together, the more likely you’ll be to help prevent pollution from getting into our local rivers and aquifers.
So that’s why we’re calling this series “Learn and Live.” Each month, we will inform you about one of the must-see parks in Northern Bexar County. And with that learning, we hope you will not only want to visit that park, but you’ll also want live your life by developing the best pollution prevention habits that researchers have developed so far.
This month, we’ll be learning about the Crownridge Canyon Park.
Learning About Pollution Prevention
Historically, cities have paved roadways, sidewalks, trails, parking lots, sports courts, alleys, driveways, and other surfaces to reduce the annoyance and cost of slippery mud and blowing dust. Unfortunately, having so many hard, water-repelling surfaces (along with a vast number of urban rooftops) can be environmentally harmful. After it rains, vast amounts of water, now called “stormwater,” will collect in these areas, pick up the grease, grime and other pollutants that are deposited on them each day, and then head for a water source like a creek, river or aquifer. Here are some of the ways dirty stormwater can pollute a water supply:
most stormwater runoff escapes natural cleansing by plants, rocks and soil;
without nature slowing down the stream of water after a rain, higher amounts of water are funneled to local streams;
urban streams become prone to flash flooding from rapid runoff, resulting in severe scouring, erosion, and reduction of plant life;
once stream beds are scoured, flooding becomes more common.
The solution is to hold back the water where it hits, slow it down so that the destructiveness of erosion and contaminants is controlled, and that it is naturally cleaned it before it reaches a waterway or aquifer recharge feature.
So, now that you’ve learned how unabated stormwater can create flooding and pollution issues for our aquifers and streams, you can also understand why maintaining and increasing large natural areas like parks is so important to our community.
The important point to never forget is that the less runoff, and the slower the runoff we have, the less damage there is to rivers and aquifers and the overall environment.
Living Pollution Prevention
Here are the Top 6 Pollution Prevention Habits You Should Develop
Practice water conservation in your home each day. The less water you use, the more water is left in the Trinity Aquifer for future use.
Practice energy conservation in your home each day. Large amounts of water are needed to cool power plants that provide electricity to our city. Less energy production requires less water to be used.
Use non-toxic cleaning chemicals in your home. Never dump oil or others types of solvents on the ground or in the street where they can run off into a stream or an aquifer.
Use only environmentally-safe weed-killers and fertilizers on your landscapes.
Always pick up your pet's waste and dispose of properly. Pet waste that runs off into a creek or stream only increases the bacteria levels in that body of water.
Enjoy the parks and advocate for more green spaces in your communities.
Government Canyon State Natural Area
Government Canyon State Natural Area is part of the Texas State Parks system. It is designated a natural area rather than a state park because its primary focus is protection of the property's natural resources. Given that designation, access and recreational activities may be restricted if the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) deems such action necessary to protect the environment there.
The reserve is located in northwestern Bexar County inside the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District’s boundaries. It protects a large, relatively pristine tract of Hill Country terrain that is home to numerous and diverse species of plants & wildlife and the upper Culebra Creek and Leon Creek watersheds. The approximately 12,000 acres of land Government Canyon State Natural Area occupies was originally purchased to protect the critical aquifer recharge zone which diverts rainfall into the Edwards Aquifer, the main source of drinking water for San Antonio.
First opened to the public in October, 2005, Government Canyon State Natural Area offers more than 41 miles of trails. Visitors can camp, attend a program or guided hike, geocache, picnic, take nature photos and look for birds and other wildlife. For those looking for a place to go birding, Government Canyon is a good place to find the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler.
One of the most visited features on the property are the dinosaur tracks which are located about 2.5 miles from the visitor’s center. Scientists believe the tracks were made about 110 million years ago. At that time, this location was actually near the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. The dinosaurs would walk along the moist, fine-grained mud and leave tracks which would then be exposed to the sun allowing them to dry and harden. Erosion over time have exposed the tracks for today’s people to discover, study and protect. The Witte Museum, University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity University and Texas Parks and Wildlife are continuing to study and preserve these unique dinosaur tracks today.
Crownridge Canyon Park
Crownridge Canyon was the first City natural area developed as part of the Edwards Aquifer Protection ballot initiative. The 200-acre preserve features Level 1 ADA trails and Level 4 hiking trails through a variety of habitats. Features include a canopy level bridge overlook, beautiful forested canyon bottoms, hillside vistas, and restored grasslands. There are excellent opportunities to view the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler during its nesting season. This park features interpretive elements highlighting local flora, fauna, geology and the aquifer recharge cycle, as well as the area’s early human inhabitants. The landscape at Crownridge feature native plants of northern Bexar county. Many are numbered and can be identified using the Natural Areas Plant Key.
Crownridge Canyon Trails offer both gentle Level 1 trail surfaces and more natural and challenging Level 4 surfaces. Trail markers will soon be placed along the trails to identify native plants.
Red Oak Trail:
Red Oak is the lower trail loop leading to the bridge crossing Red Oak Canyon. It has a 1.3 mile stabilized base surface meeting ADA accessibility requirements. Level 1 .
Bear Grass Trail:
Bear Grass Trail is a natural surface, .6 mile loop in the upper part of the park. This trail is Level 4 and offers medium difficulty with few steep slopes and rocky ledges. Level 4.
Pets, alcohol, bikes, and loud music are not allowed.
7222 Luskey Blvd. 78256
Sunday-Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – sunset