As of January 1st the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association has passed on the day to day management of Jacob's Well Natural Area Preserve to Hays County staff. The Restoration Rangers are still helping care for the preserve and working with the County on procedures and guidelines set forth in the conservation easement regulations. It has been exciting to see the vision of the WVWA's preservation take form in the county’s site master plan and great getting to know the county staff working at Jacobs Well.
During the Fall we concentrated our land management along the preserve trails above Jacob's Well. The Restoration Ranger volunteers created a Shaded Fuel Break along the trails. This is more commonly called simply pruning up the junipers. We removed small junipers and low branches off larger ones thus removing fuel for fires from the trees. The cuttings were clipped to lie as close to the ground as possible where they will hopefully quickly decay into nutritious mulch allowing grasses and other understory brush to grow. Perhaps Spring will bring new surprises along the trails.
Hays County has continued the removal of impervious cover to bring the property in compliance with the conservation goal of restoring the flood plain and riparian area above Jacob's Well. The County removed concrete footings and tennis courts and other debris near the Condo's and Old Swim & Tennis Center.
This flood plain is planned to be transformed into a new entry point for public access to the well, and the site of our next restoration project. The Lower Colorado River Authority graciously donated trees and the county helped out immensely by using their auger to dig holes for the trees in this newly cleared area. It was amazing how quickly we were able to get all the trees in the ground. It took another workday to get them caged and the county has kept them watered since.
So far in 2013 the Restoration Rangers continued to concentrate their work near the new entrance -- removing bamboo, Johnson Grass, and English Ivy; pruning junipers; blocking off a trail that was causing erosion along the creek; and distributing the highly desired Bushy Bluestem native grass seeds. Peter Pierson from the San Antonio
River Authority honored us by giving his expert opinion on restoration ideas for the riparian area.
The Restoration Rangers enjoy our workdays at Jacobs Well and hope our efforts create a healthy preserve that the community enjoys and a place where all can learn about the precious balance between the land, man and our demands on water. Our workdays are every other Friday morning.
If you would like to join us in our effort to restore and steward the very special place, please contact our project leader Jeff Vasgaard at email@example.com.
What? Hays County planting extravaganza at Jacob's Well.
When? Friday March 22 -- 9:00 AM until they're all planted.
Where? Jacobs Well - Camp Jacob (directions and map)
Why? 695 beautiful native plants need their own place in the sun... at Camp Jacob
Who? You and your friends... i.e. all Restoration Rangers hands on deck!
Come for a hour, come for the morning, come for the day!
Bring a sack lunch or bring some money and we'll order Subway sandwiches.
The County will have prepared the site and dug some holes.
Our job is to tuck the plants into their new home.
You can turn the old trailer park into a beautiful Central Texas garden oasis.
Learn more about how you can get involved with the Hays County Master Naturalist Program at haysmn.org
Many Thanks to the stewardship efforts of all the dedicated volunteers from the Restoration Rangers!