By: AgriLife Today
Contacts: John W Smith, 979-845-2761, [email protected]
Dr. Becky Grubbs, 979-845-3041, [email protected]
Dr. Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, [email protected]
Reagan Hejl, 979-845-5252, [email protected]
Lee Marlowe, 210-302-3624, [email protected]

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is hosting two residential rainwater harvesting and turf management trainings in Boerne and San Antonio on Sept. 20 and 21, respectively.

The first training, in collaboration with the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Partnership, will be from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Cibolo Nature Center, 140 City Park Road in Boerne.

The second training, in collaboration with the San Antonio River Authority, will be from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 21 at the river authority, 100 E. Guenther St. in San Antonio. Lunch will be provided at the San Antonio training.

in-ground sprinkler watering lawn grass
The Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters Program is hosting trainings in Boerne and San Antonio. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

Both events are free and open to the public. Participants at either training can have their soil tested free of charge. Both trainings will review how to access soil test results and provide nutrient recommendations.

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices, coordinators said. At the trainings, attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.

Seating is limited, so attendees for either program are requested to register at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters website.

Those attending the program in Boerne should register at Those planning to attend the San Antonio program should register at

Those interested in either program can also contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at 979-845-2761 or [email protected].

Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, College Station, said management practices such as using irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional landscape irrigation water.

“These trainings can improve participants’ understanding of rainwater harvesting and landscape management,” she said.

Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, College Station, said proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation can protect and improve water quality in area creeks and collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs reduces stormwater runoff.

Reagan Hejl, research associate in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, said soil samples will be submitted to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters.

Residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions from the AgriLife Extension office in Kendall County, 210 E. San Antonio Ave., Suite 9 in Boerne or at the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge St., Suite 212 in San Antonio.

For more information about the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to

At the San Antonio program, Lee Marlowe, sustainable landscape ecologist at San Antonio River Authority, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in the Upper San Antonio River.

For more information about the Upper San Antonio River Watershed Protection Plan, go to!/main/map

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part through a Clean Water Act grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.