Learn About Playas at Upcoming Workshop

Landowners, Master Naturalists, educators, and community members are invited to attend a Playa Field Day on Tuesday, May 21, from 9:30am to 1:00pm in Abernathy, Texas. The field day will cover general information about playa ecosystems, best management practices, and playa restoration programs.

Activities will begin with coffee and refreshments in the Courtroom at Abernathy City Hall (811 Ave D.) at 9:30am. An opening presentation on playa amphibians will be given by Amanda Emert, a graduate student at Texas Tech University, followed by a presentation by Don Kahl, TPWD Region 1 Migratory Game Bird Specialist. Kahl will cover general information on playas, as well as information on restoration efforts and options for playa landowners through the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative.

At 11:00am, the group will depart for a guided field trip to visit a nearby playa restored through the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative. At 12:30pm, the group will return to City Hall for a sandwich lunch. Jim Steiert, outdoor writer and playa enthusiast, will close the event with brief remarks after lunch, with the event ending at 1:30pm.

Playas are shallow, rain-fed wetlands throughout the Great Plains. When containing surface water, playas provide crucial habitat for many wildlife that depend on water to survive. When dry, playas also support several other Great Plains wildlife species because they are often the only natural lands in a region dominated by agricultural production. Playas also recharge water to the underlying aquifer, filter nutrients and chemicals from the surrounding watershed, and add recreational value to the region.

The workshop is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and its partners, the High Plains Water District, the Dixon Water Foundation, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Those attending are asked to wear clothing, footwear, and a hat suitable for the field tours. There is no charge for the event, though a $10 donation for lunch is appreciated.

If you plan on attending the workshop, please RSVP to Darryl Birkenfeld, Ogallala Commons Director, at 806-945-2255 to help ensure an accurate lunch count.