Grab your popcorn and kick back as we explore The Spring Creek Nature Trail together. The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department is offering one of our most popular programs, the Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture Series, online. Gather the family and join us this Thursday for an experience virtually as good as being on the trail.
Be a part of the fun on Thursday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m. when Bill Bass presents on The Spring Creek Nature Trail and the Importance of Conservation.
Over the course of an hour, Bill will share the importance of preserving our natural spaces and provide an overview of the Spring Creek Nature Trail located in the heart of The Woodlands. This 14-mile multi-use path offers stunning views and a chance to see nature up close. From migratory birds to native wildflowers, the trail provides an escape back to nature in one of the fastest growing urban areas in the United States.
Keeping wild places free of pollution and development is challenging. As a conservation photographer, Bill has dedicated himself to a multi-year effort to capture the flora and fauna of this system. His stunning images communicate the importance of preserving Spring Creek and our other natural jewels.
Registration is required for this free presentation.
For a healthy and beautiful lawn, start by selecting the right turf grass for your home. Whether you’re looking for low maintenance, durability (can it hold up to the weekly family flag football game?) or you just need something that will grow in a little shade, there is a turf grass for you.
Put the Care into Lawn Care
This video builds off of the lessons from ‘Selecting the Perfect Turf’. Get a refresher on common types of turf and then dive into proper maintenance techniques, efficient water methods, and simple and effective fertilizer and pesticide applications.
Weed ‘Em and Reap – Weeds and Watering
This class makes sense of two of the most challenging issues many homeowners face. If you’re having trouble controlling unwanted plants in your lawn and landscape or if you’re confused about when to water and when to wait, we’re here to help. Learn the best approach to managing weeds effectively without the overuse of chemicals and your time so you can reap the rewards of a green environment. Thistle be a great class for sure!
How to Identify Sod Webworm in Your Lawn
Landscape entomologist, Doug Caldwell investigates a summertime insect outbreak that has appeared on a South Florida lawn. Many homeowners have reported witnessing sod webworms wreaking havoc on their St. Augustine lawns this summer. This video can help you identify the insect, its signs and symptoms, as well as provide options for treatment and prevention.
Beyond the turf – videos to beautify your yard
Made for the Shade
Many native and adapted plants thrive in shady conditions. This video offers a variety of plants from groundcovers to small trees that can add beauty and color to those areas in your yard that don’t receive full sun.
Plants Combos and Companions
Companion planting is the art of growing plants in proximity to each other because of their ability to enhance or complement each other. Learn from Dr. Becky Bowling on how to select plants that offer year-round color and texture with this beginner-friendly landscape design class. Give your yard function and purpose through plant combinations and companions.
Imagine bushes abuzz with bees, resplendent butterflies flashing about, and birdsong permeating the air – all right in your very own yard. By adding a few key elements to your garden or landscape, you can turn your landscape into a flourishing habitat and start witnessing sights fit for National Geographic!
Birds, Bees and Butterflies: Gardening for Wildlife
Let Water University help you build your backyard habitat. This comprehensive presentation is packed with tips for inviting wildlife. Discover which native plants entice specific pollinating insects and birds and how to round out your habitat with food and shelter sources.
Certified Wildlife Habitats
For a quick guide to the key building blocks of a successful Wildlife Habitat, check out National Wildlife Federation’s short 7 part video series. Start with the video below. Allow auto play to queue up each subsequent video and enjoy the entire series. Great to watch with the whole family. Have you installed all the components of a successful wildlife habitat? Register your Certified Wildlife Habitat here.
How to Plant a Pollinator Garden
Are you limited on space or not up for a whole backyard project? Here is a simple how-to video for creating a pollinator garden in a small sunny spot by Roger Cook of This Old House. Learn how to determine the proper location, prep soil, choose plants and add biodiversity through the addition of a water feature. Please note some plants suggested are localized and not native varieties.
Pollinating is important and thirsty work! Create a small oasis for butterflies and bees to sip from using tips in this video by Walter Reeves.
Get to know your new neighbors with these wildlife guides:
When well managed, your yard provides important ecological benefits such as reducing runoff, providing habitat and filtering stormwater. It’s easier than you may think. This FREE program will show you how.
You’ll learn about:
The most efficient irrigation methods, plus drip irrigation, smart controllers and sensors
Using captured rainwater for landscape irrigation
Achieving a greener lawn by improving soil health and reducing chemicals
Native plants that thrive with less water
Water efficient turf and native grasses adapted to our climate
Today’s online programming will help you find easier, more effective and more sustainable ways to enhance your landscape. Learn about plant selection, improving soil health and pest control best practices (many common plant problems, like insects and disease, can be easily resolved once the cause is identified).
Set-up for Success: The 3 S’s
Right Plant Right Place, UMN Extension Part 1
While set in Minnesota, Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn gives a great overview of how to choose the perfect plant for that empty spot in your yard or garden – whether it’s for your entryway or anywhere else. Putting the right plant in the right place is the foundation of any successful garden. Learn how to assess soil, sun, space and other factors in this handy how-to video on one of the fundamental aspects of garden design.
Extra credit: The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Finder allows you to plug all your requirements into their database to find the perfect match for you from their list of Pineywood natives (which they call the South Central Plains).
Feed the Soil Microbiome
Building Microbe-Rich Living Compost Part 1
Making and applying microbe-rich compost is one of the most valuable things you can do for your soil. Understand principles and practices of home-scale composting to insure a rodent-free and biologically active compost pile. A great resource whether you’re just beginning to compost or are experienced and looking to make your compost even better.
Cultivating Connections: Soil Redemption Song
Michael Phillips takes you on a deep dive into the microscopic communities beneath our feet and our crops. He talks about the fungal network as a pathway to bringing resilience to gardens and landscapes. Michael Phillip, who’s latest book, “Mycorrhizal Planet: How Fungi and Plants Work Together to Create Dynamic Soils,” explores the science of symbiotic fungi and sets the stage for practical applications across the landscape.
Encourage Nature’s Pest Control
Managing Garden Insects Begins with a Question: Friend or Foe?
Learning “what is it?” is the first step in determining if an insect is a useful garden partner, a minor player, or potentially a bigger problem. Your garden may have over 1000 different insects! Most are actually harmless or provide beneficial functions like pollination and predation. Learn to recognize and protect nature’s pest control at various stages in their lifecycle, along with pests associated with chewing, discoloration, distortion, and die back.
Farmscaping for Pollinators & Predatory Insects
Learn about the dynamic interactions between plants, pollinator and predator insects that will help you create a buzz of biodiversity and balance in your niche of the local ecosystem. Discover key plants that add biodiversity and beauty to your garden through a conversation with Pat Battle from Living Web Farms. Watch the first 31 mins for a new approach to farming that works for the home garden too, then follow Pat and his class on a delightful tour through the farmscape.
Building A Host Environment for Beneficial Insects
Build it and they will come! Bring it all together with elements you can add to any garden that encourage self-sustaining populations of nature’s natural pest control featuring the story of momma hoverfly, and why its OK to have aphids!
Backyard Farmer – Pesticide Safety
Sometimes a problem requires a chemical solution – whether its naturally derived like neem or a broad-spectrum pyrethroid. University of Nebraska Extension Pesticide Education Coordinator Larry Schulze gives us tips on active ingredients, reading and following pesticide labels and using these chemicals safely around our homes.