Arroyo Colorado

October 12, 2007

Dear Arroyo Partners!

First of all, the RIO REFORESTATION event has been RESCHEDULED to Saturday, October 27, 2007 due to the recent heavy rains and soggy field conditions. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Well, we did it. Through the diligent work of many individuals, the three Coastal Management Program proposals were completed and delivered on time to the General Land Office. The development of grant proposals is no small task, especially when the funding program requires state or local match. This match does not always mean actual money and can include donated time, services or equipment. Grants are one way to fund watershed projects however we need to be thinking of other options. See the second attachment for information on a special EPA webcast titled “Watershed Financing – Moving Beyond Grants”. You can sign up for the webcast or join Amy and me at my office for viewing. RSVP to Amy, asrangel@ag.tamu.edu if you would like to join us.

A couple of lessons learned for this proposal development process were we cannot start too soon, and there is a need to identify and solicit private dollars. Sue Griffin, Billy Snider, and Mike Heep need to be acknowledged for donation of their services as landscape designers for the proposed Rio Hondo Education and Outreach Center (E&O) project. Their professional time (money) contributed to the required match in funds identified in that proposal. Thanks Sue, Billy, and Mike! The grants and contracts departments of TWRI, TAMUK, and UTB also deserve acknowledgment for their work under a tight deadline. Also, thank you to those locally who wrote letters of support on our behalf for these proposals.

Mark your calendars. The next Arroyo Colorado Steering Committee and Partnership meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2007. The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the AUDITORIUM of the TAMUK Citrus Center. As usual, the social that includes snacks and refreshments begins at 4:30 p.m. The special guest attending this meeting will be a representative of the Valley Land Fund. We will learn more about the VLF and discuss how our two organizations can partner on projects. Go to http://valleylandfund.com for more information and note that the 2006 photo competition book is now available and that they are putting on a Landowner Workshop scheduled for October 27, 2007. Learn the basics of conservation easements and the nuts and bolts of tax incentives and tax laws.

Tuesday, October 16th from 4-6 pm is an Arroyo E&O work group meeting. It will be in held in the conference room of the Texas Agricultural Research and Extension Center located at 2401 E. Hwy 83. This meeting should be of special interest to science educators. We will develop a method to demonstrate the new physical watershed model and be discussing how to handle and transport this 3 foot x 7 foot teaching tool. To see how this model is demonstrated (and more) go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/texaswatch/ for pictures of its “maiden voyage” out in the community. Thanks Texas Watch for providing the photos!

On a final note, the City of Pharr has organized “A Pharr Out Nature Day”. It will be held tomorrow (Saturday, Oct 13) from 9 am to 4 pm at the Jose “Pepe” Salinas Civic Center. See the attached flyer for more information. I will be there most of the day demonstrating the new model and hope to see you there or at one of our meetings.

Laura