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TPWD Tackles the Invasive Arundo Plant

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TPWD Tackles the Invasive Arundo Plant

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Image of Arundo courtesy of Hill Country Alliance.

Riparian landowners!

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) can help you manage the pesty, invasive and very-bad-for-the-environment Arundo plant (giant cane) growing along the Blanco, Guadalupe and Medina Rivers.

The state agency is offering two spring workshops that focus on remediating Hill Country creeks and rivers, said Angela England, Ph.D, Aquatic Invasive Species Biologist for TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division

The first is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 7, at Gem of the Hills Community Center, 2233 U.S. Hwy. 281 N, Blanco.

May 9 update: Due to weather, this workshop is canceled and will be rescheduled for sometime in June.  A second is set from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9 at Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Rd. 12, Wimberley.

The sessions are open to the public. Food and drinks will be provided. RSVP to healthycreeks@tpwd.texas.gov or call 512-389-8750.

The Healthy Creeks Initiative’s goal is to restore diverse, healthy plant communities along creeks and rivers in order to reduce erosion and flooding, stabilize creek banks, and provide fish and wildlife habitat.

TPWD partners with The Nature Conservancy and Hill Country Alliance to provide funded services that provide healthy habitats for aquatic life and restore and protect the beauty of Hill Country creeks.

TPWD says when riparian zones suffer, creeks do too. Arundo can quickly become dominant in areas scoured of vegetations after floods.

Arundo

  • Grows in disturbed areas;
  • Spreads by fragments and rhizomes;
  • Crowds out native plants;
  • Impedes flood-channel function;
  • Decreases water quality and quantity;
  • Alters stream flow/discharge rates;
  • Decreases habitat for wildlife;
  • And degrades instream habitat.

TPWD says it can provide chemical treatment to manage Arundo at no cost to landowners. Biological controls aren’t effective — and the plant should never be mowed or removed, which can be damaging to bank stability.

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