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Rain gardens are like do-it-yourself backyard aquifers that recharge your plants and trees.

Slow the flow with rain gardens

For most Texas gardeners there is no more welcome event than a good rain. Those of us living in the Central or Western parts of the state cheer nearly any rainfall, and increasingly, many of us are finding creative ways to hold onto and more fully benefit from what some folks call “Mother Nature’s Finest” – rain water. Those who water by hand appreciate rain because it saves us a lot of time and effort, while those with irrigation systems, at least those who remember to reset their sprinklers when it does rain, appreciate it because it helps lower their water bills. But, beyond those benefits, all true gardeners can actually see the difference...

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Why water conservation matters, even when it’s raining

Picture this familiar scenario: you’re snug on your couch, nursing a cup of tea as your thoughts drift from the muted percussions of raindrops smattering the window beside you. Or maybe you’re gripping an umbrella in one hand and a teetering armful of work to-dos in the other, dodging parking lot puddles on the rainy trek to your car. Wherever we find ourselves when a rain shower hits, I’m willing to wager that water conservation is one of the last things on our minds in those moments and the weeks that follow. It’s easy to think about conserving water when our streams are visibly parched and the word “drought” meets us at every turn...

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Fatmucket, heelsplitter and pimpleback are three types of Texas freshwater mussels

Fewer heelsplitters, fatmuckets and pimplebacks signals trouble for Texas rivers

Wildlife populations around the world are declining rapidly, but as our streams and rivers face an onslaught of challenges, the outlook is especially poor for freshwater species. And, near the top of the list of species in trouble are 15 species of colorfully-named Texas mussels. Texas is home to a sizeable portion of the about 300 mussel species native to the U.S., with 53 species of native mussels claiming Texas roots. Unfortunately, we haven’t treated these Texas natives very well, with 15 of those species currently listed as threatened by the State of Texas. Although being listed by the state wins mussels a little extra attention, it actually provides very little legal protection. In...

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