Monday, March 29, 2010

Compost Giveaway April 3

For residents of Wichita Falls who use the city organics bin, the Spring Compost Giveway is Saturday, April 3. Here's a link to all of the information you need to get this true "black gold." Be sure to take your water bill showing the $3 composting charge and a tarp to cover the load when you go.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

City-wide Spring Cleaning

In my next column in the Biz to Biz magazine published by the Times Record News I tell the story of the first day my son and I arrived in Wichita Falls. After the green, hilly environment of Virginia, the plains were an adjustment. However, it wasn't the flat, browner prairie landscape that led to my son saying, "This is the ugliest town I've ever seen." It was the trash spread up and down the highway as we entered the city.

Fortunately, with time came an appreciation of the more subdued landscape, and generally the city has done a reasonable job of improving its appearance. Trash is still a problem.

At one time, Wichtia Falls had a Clean City Commission. The annual city-wide cleanup was one event that fell to the wayside when the Commission was disbanded. If you look around the city now, there are some very unsightly areas, full of trash and junk. I am going to go around the city and take pictures over the next few days, but I promise you, Wichita Falls is not ready for company.

Spring cleaning used to be a time honored tradition. Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful and the Clean and Green Committee are working together to spruce up the city in conjunction with the Don't Mess with Texas Trash-Off on Saturday, April 10. They're encouraging homeowners, business owners, civic groups, and families to get involved in a community Spring Cleaning.

Volunteers should meet at the Lucy Land Park Pavilion at 9:00 AM on Saturday, April 10 for a photo shoot for Keep Texas Beautiful. Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful will provide trash bags to volunteers.

To sign up go to or email

Take trash collected to the City Transfer Station at 3200 Lawrence Road. There is no charge for your "deposits."

If you can't participate on the 10th, make it a point to clean up trash where you find it over the next two weeks. Clean up your yards and workplaces and take a trash bag with you when you walk. Together we can make a difference.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Airline Recycling

I've mentioned Green America before and their Responsible Shopper project. They just released a report on recycling in the airline industry and it isn't a pretty picture. American Eagle, a part of American Airlines is running about the middle of the pack
I really like the Responsible Shopper area--I got to the airline report while researching mobile phone companies.
This is an easy to use site and provides ratings on a lot of products and services and offers suggested alternatives.

River Bend Plant Sale Extended

Due to the snow Saturday that kept many people home, River Bend is extending its plant sale through the week. Tell the gift store worker you are there for the plant sale and you won't have to pay admission to the conservatory.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Clean and Green Committee

Last year, the nonprofit community started the Clean and Green committee to encourage recycling in the community. The efforts of that committee were folded up into the Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful organization at the conclusion of this awareness event.

Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful is calling a meeting of the Clean and Green at 10:00 AM on March 22 in the Silver Square Room of Wells Fargo on Kell Blvd. Although targeted to non-profits, the meeting is open to anyone interested in a more sustainable community. We'll be talking about a number of things to include a community cleanup.

New Draft Water Plan Available for Comment

The Region B Water Planning Group has released the draft 2010 water plan for public comment. When you open the plan, I suggest you do not print it, as it is 440 pages.

Public comments can be submitted on line or at the public hearing. The public hearing is April 13, 6:00 PM, at the Comanche Suites at the Clark Student Center on the Midwestern State University campus. Comments are due by June 18, 2010, according to the Red River Authority website.

During the last planning cycle in 2005, I was the only member of the public that spoke and mine was one of only 5 written comments received (one other member of the League of Women Voters, the Texas Water Development Board, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation.) I have not yet finished reviewing the plan--it takes a awhile to read over 440 pages. However, once I do, I will be sharing my thoughts here, so visit back. If you can, please attend the public hearing, even if you don't intend to comment. It's a good place to get an overview, ask questions and hear what others think. Water is a precious resource and deserves our attention.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Local Food Conference Midland/Odessa

In this month's el despoblado e-newsletter (if you don't subscribe, you should!) there was an announcement of the Midland-Odessa Local Foods Conference on March 30.

Midland's a bit of a jaunt, but not so far interested people couldn't make the trip.

I also noted a Lubbock area Southern Plains Conference that may be of interest to some folks.
There are many other "green" events coming up--I'll post those that are within a few hours of Wichita Falls as I find out about them. In the meantime, don't forget our own EcoFair at River Bend on October 9!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Congratulations for the Texas Master Naturalists!

The League of Women Voters of Wichita Falls nominated the Texas Master Naturalists for the LWV Texas Environmental Awareness Award. The LWV Texas presents this award every two years at their state convention (held this year April 23 - 25 in San Marcos, TX). The Wichita Falls League decided to nominate the state program as this is a state award, but drew heavily on examples from their hometown Rolling Plains TMN chapter to illustrate the many worthwhile activities undertaken by the organization throughout the state. The picture with this blog is the group who participated in the Plum Lake Cleanup on Saturday, March 6 (I'm way in the back, where I like to be. Jane McGough took this photo.)

The LWV Texas has announced that the Texas Master Naturalist program won the Environmental Awareness Award in the non-profit category. The award will be presented at the State Convention at the EAA luncheon.

The Rolling Plains chapter is currently recruiting for its Spring training class. If you want to know more about this worthwhile organization and the training class, visit their website. Applications are due by March 12, and the class begins March 23.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Blog Added to Blog Roll

I went back out to the Wichita Valley website today and remembered that Paul Dowlearn has a sporadic blog. Coming as we are into the busy season for the nursery crowd, I am not sure how faithful he will be, but the articles are interesting and the blog reflects Paul's personality very well, so I am including it on the blog roll and hope he will continue to post occasionally. And now that I have the feed on the blog roll, I'll read it more often too!

River Bend Program on Xeriscapes is Tonight!

The next in a series of programs relating to water will be tonight at River Bend Nature Center. Paul Dowlearn, from Wichita Valley Landscaping will be presenting a program on Xeriscaping. Be there at 7:00 PM. Members of River Bend may attend for free; non-members pay $3.