SWT hosts Conservation Day at Aquarena

Date of release: 03/31/00

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Community volunteers are sought to help plant native shrubs and trees on the grounds of Aquarena Center as Southwest Texas State University hosts Conservation Day on Saturday, April 8.

The event is part of an effort to return the wetlands around the San Marcos Springs to a more natural condition by removing exotic and introduced plant species and replacing them with species native to the area.

Last fall, several species of non-native trees, such as Chinese tallow, chinaberry and ligustrum, were removed from the Aquarena Center grounds, specifically from the east bank of the slough at Aquarena. On April 8, volunteers from SWT and the San Marcos community will replant the area with native species.

“Planting native trees and shrubs will improve the habitat for resident and migratory birds and other native animals. We will be planting in a riparian zone. These zones are important because they serve as a boundary between the dry uplands and the wetlands. Riparian zones reduce erosion and pollution flow into the wetlands,” said Paula Williamson, an SWT biologist and Conservation Day coordinator. The event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Volunteers may park at the parking lot between Bobcat Stadium and Strahan Coliseum. Registration will be held at the intramural athletic fields across Aquarena Springs Drive from the parking lot.

A free picnic dinner will be served following at the end of the day.

Volunteers are asked to wear work clothes and bring a hat, gloves, sunscreen and drinking water. Tools and equipment will be provided.

SWT Conservation Day is organized by the Biology Department and the conservation biology class. It is funded by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For further information, contact Paula Williamson at 245-3312.