Archive for February, 2015

Small-Scale Land Restoration given  by Meg Inglis

Meg Inglis’ first land restoration project began 15 years ago when she and her husband built their home on a 2-acre parcel of land near Dripping Springs. Her knowledge of ecology and their decision to be solely dependent on a rainwater system, drove them to restore, not landscape their property. Learn about the process of this and other projects in the presentation: “Small-Scale Land Restoration.” Meg has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Public Administration. She has been a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas and the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration for many years.

The March 17, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

MegInglis

Creating Abundance in Endangered Species Habitat at the Vireo Preserve, given by Jim O’Donnell

The land use history of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve has had a substantial impact on the health, viability, and diversity of our ecosystems. Borrowing techniques and designs from permaculture, forest gardening, natural farming, as well as traditional land management methods, we are restoring and creating habitat for the endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. We are also reintroducing numerous rare and unusual plant species. Creating and restoring endangered species habitat requires focusing on the whole supporting community. Starting from the ground up, we begin with rebuilding soils, seeding broad areas to increase biodiversity, and promoting the regeneration of woody plants. We then design plant guilds to create a sustainable framework with the goal of developing vibrant, abundant, and complex systems. What’s really exciting about this work is that we can apply what we learn at the Vireo Preserve to other areas within and beyond the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

Jim has over 30 years’ experience monitoring endangered species in the Austin, Texas area, including color banding, monitoring plant communities, and conducting surveys of black-capped vireos and golden-cheeked warblers. He retired after 28 years of teaching science and environmental education in Dripping Springs in 2009. For the past 6 years, he has been designing and implementing habitat restoration on the City of Austin’s Vireo Preserve, which is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. Jim worked to get this 214-acre tract of land set aside in 1989 for what was at that time the largest concentration of black-capped vireos in Travis County. Jim was also a member of the Biological Advisory Team that provided the biological basis and support for the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a system of preserves established under a regional 10(a) permit designed to protect the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, six endangered karst invertebrates, 25 rare karst invertebrates, and 2 rare plants. He is currently working as a seasonal biologist for the City of Austin’s Wildland Conservation Division.

The February 17, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

BCP