June 10, 2015

Watershed dams saved Texans estimated $40 million in flood damage costs


Natural Resources Conservation Service


The month of May was one for the Texas record books. It will go down in history as the wettest May on record, shattering all previous records. Rainfall totals of 15 to 20 inches were documented across the state with many areas receiving more than their average annual rainfall in May alone.


According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, more than 35 trillion gallons of rain fell across Texas in May, which is enough water to cover the entire state of Texas in eight inches of water.


While the rains did bring much-needed drought relief across the state, it fell in such torrential downpours in many instances that roads and bridges were washed out, stranding motorists and sadly costing the lives of a reported 27 Texans.


The story that hasn't been told is about the damage that didn't happen thanks to 2,041 watershed dams across the state that quietly functioned as they were designed to do.


"The more than 2,000 dam sites across the state that were affected by the rainfall provided at least $40 million in estimated damage reduction benefits from storms throughout the month of May," says NRCS Landscape Conservation and Planning Leader Lori Ziehr. "Savings include road and bridge damage reduction, reduced loss of crops and livestock and damages to homes."


Additionally, the structures also provide improved recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat. Texas watershed dams annually provide over $140 million in benefits to the state.


According to Ziehr, in addition to the existing 2,041 watershed dam sites, the state would have realized an additional $20 million in damage reduction savings if the 266 planned dams awaiting funding had been constructed.


These watershed dams often appear to be very large stock ponds or fishing and recreation sites scattered across the countryside, but in a heavy rainfall event their specific design and function is critical. They capture raging floodwaters and hold it, releasing it slowly downstream. Slowing the water's velocity greatly reduces flood damage.


In the 1950s, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service worked with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other sponsors through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to construct these watershed dams, or flood control structures, in an effort to protect homes and property during flooding events.


"These structures continue to reduce the impacts of flooding, and they are complimented by conservation practices within the watershed that reduce erosion and improve water quality," says John Mueller, NRCS State Conservation Engineer. "These watershed dams are an important part of our state's infrastructure - millions of people depend on them for protection from floods and for providing clean drinking water."


All of the NRCS assisted flood control dams are inspected on a regular basis to ensure they are operating as designed. As dams approach their designed life expectancy, they are evaluated and rehabilitation repairs and upgrades are implemented as funding is made available.


In addition to the Federal government, the State of Texas recognizes the importance of these structures and has made great efforts to help maintain them for the safety of all Texans. In 2010 the Texas Legislature approved funding for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) to assist these watershed dam sponsors in caring for the structures.


"Since then, the TSSWCB Flood Control Program has provided local watershed sponsors $8 million for maintenance, and $22 million for repair and rehabilitation of the watershed program dams," states John Foster, TSSWCB program officer. "The State Flood Control Program has played an important role to ensure that the dams function properly during extreme conditions, such as those we have recently experienced."


"It is important to remember, that while all of our sites functioned as designed during the recent heavy rainfall, historic events will result in flood flows through the auxiliary spillways of the flood control structure," Mueller adds. "Extreme caution should always be taken in flood zones."


In addition to the structures, private landowners across the state also played a part in the network of conservation systems designed to reduce flood damage during rain events like Texas just experienced.


For example, Texas landowners have more than 8 million acres of the state voluntarily applying a conservation plan with the NRCS. Most of these plans include implementing conservation practices that reduce areas of bare soil by increasing the amount of grass and plants that cover the ground. During flooding events, the ground cover serves to slow the water down and trap sediment and debris before entering waterways. Terraces, buffer strips and grassed waterways are also effective conservation or management practices that reduce erosion, improve water conservation and create wildlife habitat.


"It is in these historic rainfall events that we can really value the benefit of these flood control structures," says Mueller. "Combined with the conservation practices landowners have established, damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railroad tracks is greatly reduced."


For more information on the NRCS watershed program, or for information on installing conservation practices on your land to help prevent erosion and reduce flooding, contact your local NRCS office located in the USDA Service Center, or learn more at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

National Pollinator Garden Network launches Million Pollinator Garden Challenge


Pollinator Partnership


In an unprecedented collaboration, dozens of conservation and gardening organizations joined together June 3 to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign - the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the Challenge in support of President Barack Obama's call to action to reverse the decline of pollinating insects, such as honey bees and native bees, as well as monarch butterflies. Representatives of the Network joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House garden, which includes a section dedicated to support pollinators, to formally launch the Challenge.


The National Pollinator Garden Network collectively represents nearly one million active gardeners and 15,000 schoolyard gardens. The Network is challenging the nation to reach the goal of one million additional pollinator gardens by the end of 2016. The Network will work to provide resources for individuals, community groups, government agencies and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices and conservation efforts.


As noted in President Obama's 2014 Presidential Memorandum on Pollinator Health and recently released National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, federal action combined with private sector partnerships and strong citizen engagement can restore pollinator populations to healthy levels. Pollinator gardens provide one way to reverse that decline by offering food, water, cover and places to raise young for honey bees, native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.


To tackle these challenges, the Network is rallying hundreds of thousands of gardeners, horticultural professionals, schools, and volunteers to help reach a million pollinator gardens over the next two years. Any individual can contribute by planting for pollinators and joining this effort to provide a million pollinator gardens across the United States. Every habitat of every size counts, from window boxes and garden plots to farm borders, golf courses, school gardens, corporate and university campuses. Everywhere we live, work, play and worship can, with small improvements, offer essential food and shelter for pollinators.


"If we all work together - individuals, communities, farmers, land managers, and local, state, and federal agencies - we can ensure that every American child has a chance to enjoy the beauty of creatures like bees, monarch butterflies, and hummingbirds," said Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "By joining forces with the National Pollinator Garden Network on the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the National Wildlife Federation and our affiliates are amplifying these collective efforts to address the growing threats affecting so much of America's treasured wildlife."


"Bees are vital in seed and agriculture production, as well as general ecosystem health, and ensuring their wellbeing is a priority," said Andrew W. LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association. "ASTA's diverse membership includes companies with expertise in the production of seed for pollinator forage and health. We look forward to working in tandem with the White House and members of the National Pollinator Garden Network to increase the outreach and education of this important initiative."


"National Garden Bureau supports gardens of all types, done by any type of gardener for any reason and gardening for the health of pollinators is a priority for NGB and our members," said Diane Blazek, Executive Director of the National Garden Bureau. "We are thrilled to be part of the National Pollinator Garden Network and look forward to the day we reach one million pollinator gardens registered in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge."


"Horticulture has a huge opportunity to be part of the solution to the threats facing pollinators, and we look forward to working together to meet the challenge," said Michael Geary, President and CEO of AmericanHort.


"All pollinators are critical to our ecosystems, as well as our Nation's economic well-being. We know that honey bees alone contribute over $15 billion to U.S. food production," said Jennifer Tedeschi, COO at National Gardening Association. "NGA has worked for over 40 years to educate people of all ages about the personal and community benefits of gardening. We are thrilled to be partnering with so many experts in conservation, ecosystems, and horticulture to bring this challenge to the American people and engage them in protecting pollinators thereby protecting our environment and food systems."


"Pollinators are critical to our survival. Our member gardens preserve and restore existing pollinator habitats as well as create new places where millions of Americans can appreciate the indispensable role of plants and their allies," said Casey Sclar, Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association. "We are proud to work with our network collaborators and federal agency partners on this important effort."


"Pollinator Partnership has worked for pollinator health for nearly two decades, and we are thrilled to see this seminal moment arrive; thanks to the National Pollinator Garden Network, an extraordinary collaboration has been formed to support every American in providing the help that pollinators desperately need in every landscape," said Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership. "What a profound and important opportunity this is - we are coming together as a nation to share our landscapes with bees and butterflies; each of us can support the very creatures that support us every day."


Full list of National Pollinator Garden Network partner organizations:

  • America In Bloom
  • American Horticultural Society
  • American Public Gardens Association
  • American Seed Trade Association
  • AmericanHort
  • Captain Planet Foundation
  • Home Garden Seed Association
  • Keep America Beautiful
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Monarch Watch
  • National Environmental Education Foundation
  • National Gardening Association
  • National Garden Bureau
  • National Garden Clubs, Inc.
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • North American Butterfly Association
  • Pollinator Partnership
  • Society of American Florists
  • USDA People's Garden
  • Wild Ones
  • Wildlife Habitat Council
  • Xerces Society for Invertebrate Biology

Learn more at www.millionpollinatorgardens.org and join the discussion on Twitter through the hashtag #PolliNation.  

Be cautious of "storm chasers" during disaster relief efforts

Better Business Bureau


Severe storms and flash flooding have left plenty of damage in its wake for residents in Texas. Some areas have even made national headlines as flood waters washed away gardens, homes and businesses. Homeowners and businesses have begun to survey the storm's aftermath and pick up the pieces.


Unfortunately, the aftermath of a natural disaster often results in an influx of "storm chasers." The "storm chasers" your Better Business Bureau warns about aren't the same as the professionals who pursue severe weather for the sake of curiosity or media coverage. These "storm chasers" are usually from out of town, unreliable and target homeowners in need of repairs. They are known to take money up front, leave jobs unfinished or not start repairs at all.


To avoid getting ripped off after disaster strikes, BBB advises consumers to watch out for these red flags:


Contractors who solicit business door-to-door. Be cautious of contractors who offer vague information, don't provide a physical address or phone number and use scare tactics ("That chimney is about to fall").


High-pressure sales tactics. Resist falling for phrases like the "good deal" you'll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot, or ("This price is only good for today").


Pushy contractors. Like high-pressure sales tactics, be wary of a contractor trying to push you to sign a contract that makes them the exclusive contractor to do the repairs. This restricts the consumer from shopping around for the best deal.


Demand for full payment upfront. Never agree to pay in full before the job is done. It is recommended to pay one-third of the bill and pay the rest once the job is complete. This will allow consumers a safety net if the job is not completed or the work is inferior. Pay by credit card, if possible.


Advice for finding a trustworthy repair business or contractor:


Check with your insurance company as soon as possible. Ask about policy coverage and how to file a claim.


Know the business you're dealing with. It's a good idea to get two or three bids, and compare materials, services, and guarantees, not just the price. Ask for customer references directly from the business. Finally, check out the business at bbb.org. Type the business name in the search tool, and you'll be directed to the business's BBB Business Review, where you will find complaint information, details about those complaints, advertising-related issues and ownership information.


Take notice of the contractor's vehicle. Look for signs or markings on it with the business name, phone number and appropriate state license plates.


Read and understand the contract and guarantee. Make sure you get a written estimate and contract. The contract should include a written description of the work to be done, and the price of labor and materials. If the company makes any verbal promises, make sure they are in writing. The guarantee should describe what's covered by the guarantee, for how long, and what the company will do to honor those promises.


Don't make the final payment or sign a completion agreement until all the work is done to your satisfaction. Don't fall for promises to return and take care of final details. It may be difficult to get the company to return once the job is paid for and signed off.


File a complaint if needed. First, try to work out problems directly with the business. If a problem is not resolved, file a complaint with your BBB at bbb.org/central-texas.


Try BBB's "Request a Quote" service. Ask for information or bids on the service you need directly from BBB Accredited Businesses. Go to the BBB Business Review on a BBB Accredited Business or to a listing in the BBB Accredited Business Directory and click on "Request a Quote."


Know where to turn. Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your BBB have many resources available to help families prepare for what to do before, during and after disaster strikes.

Gardening tips

Remove water sprouts and suckers from young trees. This will help the trees develop one main, central trunk and avoid becoming a "bush." Clip or pinch them off closely. Do not apply pruning paint unless the trees are red or live oak and susceptible to oak wilt which can be spread by insects.      


Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a free Texas Gardener 2015 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.


Austin: "Preparing for the Fall Vegetable Garden" will be presented June 11, 10 a.m. to noon, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. Imagine gardening without sweat dripping from your brow or mosquitoes buzzing in your ears or having to water every day. Those are just a few of the many benefits of the cool season vegetable garden. Join us as we discuss vegetable selection, soil preparation and the importance of timing for the fall and winter garden. Master Gardener Patty Leander is a writer for Texas Gardener magazine and grows vegetables year round in her Oak Hill garden. $10/seminar for early registration; $15/seminar for late or on-site. Register: For additional information, contact Daphne Richards, 512-854-9600 or [email protected].


Houston: Gaye Hammond, past president of the Houston Rose Society, will present "Chilli Thrips - Scourge of the Roses" at the Houston Rose Society Meeting on Thursday, June 11. Hammond is the liaison between The Houston Rose Society, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the University of Florida concerning the identification and control of chilli thrips in Texas. The meeting will be held in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd, Houston. Entrance to parking lot is on W 19th Street near Yale St. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.  

La Grange: Carol Dennis will present "Drought Adaptation," noon-12:50 p.m., June 11, at the Fayette County Agricultural Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. For additional information, call 979-968-5831 or visit http://fayette.agrilife.org.

Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Tim Hartmann, Earth-Kind program specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will present "Gardening for Food or Beauty - Why Not Both?" Hartmann earned his Bachelor of Science in horticulture with an emphasis in fruit and vegetable production and his Master of Science in plant breeding and horticulture from Texas A&M University in 2009 and 2013, respectively. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in horticulture. Originally from Blanco, Texas, Hartmann developed a passion for horticulture while working for a commercial greenhouse operation and while also operating a home-based nursery business in high school. He began working for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 2014, focusing on water conservation in home landscapes. Aside from daily tasks, Hartmann's responsibilities include delivering educational presentations to homeowners and master gardeners, conducting statewide plant trials and developing printed and Web-based materials for the Earth-Kind Landscaping Program. Additionally, he has special interests in propagation, exotic fruits and in incorporating well-adapted edible plants into residential landscapes for both food and aesthetic value. The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month at SFA's Pineywoods Native Plant Center. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund are always appreciated. Parking is available at the nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or email [email protected].


San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society has a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that encompass most uses for herbs. The June meeting will allow each of these SIGs to talk about and present what they love and do best. The meeting will be held Thursday, June 11, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 210-826-6860 or email [email protected].


San Antonio: Enter your prized tomatoes and vegetables in the Spring Top Tomato and Salad Bowl Contest. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 13 at Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 3920 N. Loop 1604 East, San Antonio. Entries judged to be the best in 5 different categories will win Milberger's gift certificates. Entry guidelines and rules available at Milberger's or at www.GardeningVolunteers.org. Sponsored by Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 930AM The Answer KLUP and Gardening Volunteers of South Texas.


San Antonio: Engage in gardening and engage your community. Join Green Spaces Alliance for the second Community Harvest Blitz. The theme is Salsa Gardening and it will be a chance to learn about gardening, participate in cultivation, watch and taste food demonstrations straight from the garden by local chefs, share a meal with new friends, and watch a movie all in the garden setting. Green Spaces' Community Harvest Blitz will occur Saturday, June 13, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Gardens of St. Therese - a west side community garden at 906 W. Kentucky Ave, 78201. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit www.greensatx.org/fruitfulsa for more detailed information and must register their planned attendance. Materials and foods will be limited by the number of registered attendees.


San Antonio: Engage in gardening and engage your community. Join Green Spaces Alliance for the third Community Harvest Blitz. The theme is Fall Harvest, as this is National Food Day. It will be a chance to learn about gardening, participate in cultivation, watch and taste food demonstrations straight from the garden by local chefs, share a meal with new friends, and watch a movie all in the garden setting. Green Spaces' Community Harvest Blitz will occur Saturday, June 13, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at River Road Community Garden - a near north community garden at 780 E. Huisache, 78212. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit www.greensatx.org/fruitfulsa for more detailed information and must register their planned attendance. Materials and foods will be limited by the number of registered attendees.


Seabrook: Andrew Sipocz, Texas Parks and Wildlife, will present "Wetlands and Wildlife Conservation and Restoration" at10 a.m., Wed., June 17, in theMeeting Room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.


Woodway: Lunch with the Masters - Jr. Master Gardener Program will be held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, June 17 from noon until to 2 p.m. For those interested in working with students or children, join Master Gardeners Brenda Gloubski and Jeanette Kelly. Learn fun and educational activities for children as they learn about nutrition, plants, and gardening. Hands on activities will be included. Bring lunch! For more information, call 254-399-9204.


San Antonio: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas presents a Watersaver Native Plant Landscape Design School, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, June 20 at Phil Hardberger Park, 8400 NW Military Highway, San Antonio. Three presentations including "Native Plants in Your Landscape Design" with Judit Green, Urban Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife; "Native and Adapted Plants that Thrive in San Antonio Area" with Master Gardener and Alamo Area Master Naturalist Sir Oliver Smith; and "Maintaining Your Native Landscape: Happy Plants and Happy HOA's" with Mark Peterson, forester and Water Conservation Coordinator for San Antonio Water System (SAWS). Enroll before June 16. $25 individuals and $40 for a household of two people attending. Fee includes four full-color guide books: "Best of Texas" landscape guide published by Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, "Texas Native and Adapted Plants" published by the City of Austin, "San Antonio Landscape Care Guide" published by SAWS, and the CD version of "DIY Drip-Line Gardening". Plus, one-on-one idea consultations with experienced gardeners after the presentations (when you enroll, you'll be sent graph paper to 'draw your yard' and bring to the school for the consultations). Presented in partnership with SAWS. For additional information, visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101.


Victoria: Hibiscus Fest will be held at Devereux Gardens, 120 David Wade Drive, Victoria, Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 50 varieties of hibiscus will be available. For additional information, call 361-574-7245 or search for the Facebook page "Devereux Gardens."


Bryan: Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist, will speak about "Unusual Edibles" 7 p.m.-8 p.m., June 23, at The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. For additional information, call 979-823-0129 or email [email protected]


Athens: Summer Series #1 - Henderson County Master Gardeners present Summer in the Garden: Dream of Blossoms, Butterflies and Bees on Thursday, June 25, 6 p.m. at the Dream Garden inside the East Texas Arboretum, 1601 Patterson Rd., Athens. Programs presented will include Summer Color, planting for color in the summer garden; Butterflies in the Garden, identifying host and nectar plants for attracting butterflies; Bees in the Backyard, see an observation hive and learn about bee forage plants; and Composting Made Easy, the fundamentals of composting. Free and open to the public. Door prizes. If raining, meet at the Arboretum pavilion. For more information, call 903-675-6130 or email [email protected]. 


Woodway: Master Gardener Melody Fitzgerald will present "Art in the Park" at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, July 15 from noon until to 2 p.m. Learn about crafty ways to create art for your garden. Get ideas on fairy gardens, cement as art, beautifying areas of your landscape, decorative signs, plant markers, fence panels, and many other fun and creative ideas. Bring lunch! For more information, call 254-399-9204.

Cleburne: Johnson County Junior Master Gardener Vegetable Gardening Certification Course for children 7-11 will be held Monday-Friday July 20-24 at the Chisholm Trail Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail Dr., Cleburne. Monday - What a P.L.A.N.T. NEEDS - Shake Rattle & Roll Your Soil; Tuesday - Propagation - Create an olla watering system; Wed. - How to Bring Pollinators to the Garden - What's Bugging YOU; Thursday - Prepare & Plant for the Fall Garden; Friday - Celebrate our garden with finishing touches and having a party by make salsa from the Summer Garden. During the week we will study explore the Summer Vegetable Garden; plants what kinds and why they are planted, soil testing soil type and pH, check for insects good and bad and is it underwater? Over watered? What a PLANT needs? Bring water and a snack. Seating is limited. Registration required. For more information and to register, contact Pat Kriener at 817-793-4625.


Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its 2015 Summer Symposium, Thursday, July 23 at Victoria Educational Gardens, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria. VEG is located across from Victoria Regional Airport control tower. The event will be held starting at 8 a.m. with registration and conclude at 2 p.m. Speakers will be Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturist Dr H. Brent Pemberton, internationally known speaker Gaye Hammond and Texas Rose Society chairman Audrey McMurray. Registration is $25 at the door. Early registration ends July 20 and is $20. To obtain registration form go to vcmga.org. For more information telephone 361-575-4581.  


McKinney: Join the Collin County Master Gardeners on Saturday, July 25, for their annual Fall into Vegetable Gardening program and learn how to make your own garden produce delicious and nutritious cool-season vegetables. The class will be conducted at beautiful Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney from 8 a.m. until noon. Master Gardeners will speak about the Best Varieties of Vegetables to grow, Harvesting Vegetables; Integrated Pest Management for the Vegetable Garden; and the Planting Calendar with a few Garden Secrets. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and will feature demonstration tables offering information on raised bed construction, container gardening, irrigation and rain water harvesting, general CCGMA information, Texas Pure products, and vegetable gardening resources. There will also be tours of the vegetable demonstration beds at Myers Park at the end of the program. Attendees will take home goodie bags filled with useful information to help get their fall/winter garden off to a great start. To register for the event or for more information visit the CCMGA website, www.ccmgatx.org, or call the CCMGA Information Center at 972-548-4232. Registration is required and will open July 1, 2015 on the website. There is a $10 per person fee payable online or at the door with cash, check, or credit card. 


Woodway: Master Gardener Mark Barnett will discuss "Soils, Trees, and Oak Wilt" at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, The Pavilion, Woodway, August 19, from noon until to 2 p.m. Learn about crafty ways to create art for your garden. Get ideas on fairy gardens, cement as art, beautifying areas of your landscape, decorative signs, plant markers, fence panels, and many other fun and creative ideas. Bring lunch! For more information, call 254-399-9204.
Monthly meetings


If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 




Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to [email protected].

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu
or call 281-855-5600.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at [email protected].


Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.


Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.


Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.org


Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at [email protected]


Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels. 




Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at [email protected].  


Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact [email protected].


Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail [email protected].


Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the

second Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit http://dcmga.com/.


Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.


Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.


Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 


Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the

second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.


Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.


Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.


Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.


Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the

second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.


San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 


Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.


College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.


Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.


Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.


Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.




Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at [email protected].


Cleburne:The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.


New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.


Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.


Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860. 


New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker, plant of the month presentation, and plant raffle. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/wp/lindheimer.


Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail [email protected] or call 361-790-0103.


Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.


Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.


Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.


Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.


Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the Lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.


Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email [email protected] or call 817-454-8175.


Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/Houston.


Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.




Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.


Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.


Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.


Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at [email protected].


Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.


San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email [email protected].


Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month at 3015 Richmond Ave., Houston. For more information, contact [email protected].


Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email [email protected].


Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.


Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.


Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.

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