Learn About Playas at Free Tour

You are invited to attend a Playa Field Day presented by Ogallala Commons on Thursday, August 26, from 9:30am to 1:00pm at the Tahoka City County Library Meeting Room in Tahoka, Texas. The field day will cover general information about playa ecosystems as well as playa restoration programs offered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative (TXPCI). There will also be a driving tour to see playas restored through these programs that are nearby in Lynn County.

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.

Those attending the event should arrive at the City County Library Meeting Room by 9:15am for registration (1717 Main Street) in Tahoka, TX, then drive to the back side of the library, and enter through the side door to the Meeting Room). Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, the room will be set up for social distancing and masks are encouraged.

The opening presentation at 9:45am will be an overview of playa ecosystems and the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative from Heather Johnson, Migratory Game Bird Specialist: Region I, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Lubbock, TX. At 10:15pm, Manuel De Leon and Matt Dorsett from the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, will give a presentation via Zoom on how the CP23a and Wetlands Reserve Program have been used to restore playa basins in Lynn County.

At 11:00am, the group will depart for a driving tour to view restored playa properties located in the vicinity of Tahoka. At 12:15pm, the group will return to the Meeting Room for a sandwich lunch. At 12:50pm, Jim Steiert, outdoor writer and playa enthusiast from Hereford, TX, will close the event with brief remarks.

Registration for the event is $15 per person (which includes the cost of lunch, drinks, and snacks). To register, please email or call to Darryl Birkenfeld, Ogallala Commons Director, at 806-945-2255 or email him at darryl@ogallalacommons.org.

The workshop is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and its partners: High Plains Water District, the Dixon Water Foundation, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.