|Water flows at Ringtail Ridge after heavy rains|
Our local natural areas benefited from the 3″ of rain that fell June 22nd, but no rain for the 30 days prior and 100˚days quickly dried the ground once again. Have you seen any butterflies? They’re a rare sight these days as there’s little flowering in the green spaces. A field of thistles at Ringtail Ridge that was visited by finches, bees, and butterflies in April and May is now just a burnt-out patch of ground in June.
It’s important that we have these natural areas so that when it does rain, the water has a chance to collect and not just run off as it does on parking lots, streets, and rooftops. Ringtail has three tanks, or pits, that were used when it was a meat processing plant. Now rainwater collects in these areas, and since Ringtail sits on top of the Edwards Aquifer, that water contributes directly to aquifer recharge.
|Karst at Prospect open to sunlight after invasive removal|
Middle Purgatory, also known as Prospect Park, has two very distinct karst features that allow rainwater to run directly into the aquifer. SMGA has begun a program to remove some of the ligustrum that chokes out native plants in that area. During Bobcat Build more than 300 plants were removed and native grasses with long root systems were planted. How many of those plants will take root in this drought is unknown, but we have some excellent advisers who are helping us monitor our efforts.
Please observe warning signs about no open flames or fires, and avoid lighting so much as a match in any local natural area. Animals are suffering enough as it is without the risk of their homes burning, not to mention those human residences that border our natural areas. We hope you enjoyed a safe 4th of July without fireworks and that you appreciate both the San Marcos River and our natural areas, which contribute to the river’s continued flow.
– Lance Jones, SMGA Outreach Committee Member