Watershed Newsletter
The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association

Protecting Jacob's Well and the Springs of the Wimberley Valley

Jacob’s Well Elementary Back for a Third Year

Gary Zupancic, WISD Information Officer
Helen Foster teaches with GBRA Model
Photo by Jane Dunham

The fifth graders of Jacob’s Well Elementary School visited their namesake, the real Jacob’s Well. Master Naturalists and other  volunteers helped with the hands-on instruction, which included three learning stations. The students were taught about their local, natural environment and the qualities that make living in the Wimberley area so unique.

One station is a demonstration of how many gallons of water is used to make products, such as one pair of blue jeans (2900 gallons of water), a loaf of bread (1735 gallons) and an egg (53 gallons).

Another of the learning stations was a mock up of local different terrains and their water retention abilities. Blacktop with no water retention as opposed to native grasses whose roots can extend downward 10 feet and beyond which has great water retaining ability, with examples in between the two.

The third station is the well of Jacob’s Well itself, a beautiful natural spring. Out of the Well flow thousands of gallons of water per minute and acts as headwaters to Cypress Creek that flows through Wimberley, sustaining Blue Hole and the Blanco River. It also recharges the Edwards Aquifer, and finally replenishing estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also included were learning about watersheds, aquifers, river basins, groundwater conservation districts and the connections between surface water and groundwater.

Jacob’s Well Elementary Principal Linda Land was very impressed. “The students were taught about their local, natural environment and the qualities that make living in the Wimberley area so unique. The master naturalists and the volunteers were able to show the students how the well is directly connected to Cypress Creek and our surrounding area.”

      Linda Lang, retired teacher, gets the students inspired while having fun

According to Barbara Atwell, Environmental Education Coordinator for Jacob’s Well, “We love having the Jacob's Well kids come to visit. They are exceptionally knowledgeable about aquifers and where their water comes from, thanks to their teachers and principal. They give us hope for the future as we know they will be fierce protectors of the Wimberley Valley Springs.”

Thanks to Deb Bradshaw, Helen Foster, Linda Land, Don Wallace, Ray Franklin, and guest Cinde Thomas-Jimenez and her massive GBRA Watershed model for making these 2 days so rewarding for the kids of Jacob’s Well. Here is what they said:

Helen Currie Foster
Hey – Fifth Grade Rules, and the teachers do too. What fun!


Great chicken-dancers!
Rapid at Crow v. Owl!
Able map-readers!
Deft “rainmakers” on the watershed model!
Enthusiastic learners

Upward bound on the learning curve!
Listening learners!
Erudite about watersheds!
Sensitive to water issues

Deb Bradshaw
Telling stories at the well is my favorite volunteer job. (And I have some good ones.)
I love the JW school group because they already love the well. This year I got two new stories from them to add to our collection. A teacher and a student's grandmother owned condos that were destroyed by the 1998 flood; grandma was plucked off her balcony by a helicopter in the nick of time!