Learn About Playas at Field Day on May 16

You are invited to attend a Playa Field Day presented by Ogallala Commons on Thursday, May 16, from 9:30am to 2:00pm in Lockey, Texas. The event will be held in the Floyd County Friends Unity Center at 990 FM 786. Doors open at 9:00am for registration and refreshments.

The field day will cover information about playa ecosystems, possibilities for restoration through the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative (TXPCI) and other programs, and an overview of how to move toward regenerative cotton production to increase water stewardship and playa conservation across the South Plains.  After lunch, a tour will be taken to visit a restored playa in Floyd County.

The opening presentation will discuss playa ecosystems and the TxPCI program by Heather Johnson, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Migratory Game Bird Specialist for Region I. Next, Chad Wall, founder of Natural Ecosystem Restoration will present “Taking Steps to Regenerate Cotton Ecosystems.”  After a break, the final presentation entitled, “A Grower’s Perspective: Cotton Incorporated, SARA, and Preserving Playas” will be given by Lacy Cotter Vardeman from Cotter Key Farms.

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.

Registration for the event is $25 per person (which includes the cost of lunch, drinks and snacks). Space is limited; please register by May 10. To register and pay online, visit https://bit.ly/447VGVg. You may also email or call Darryl Birkenfeld, Ogallala Commons Deputy Director (darryl@ogallalacommons.org or by phone at 806-945-2255) to register.

The Field Day is presented by Ogallala Commons and sponsored by High Plains Water District, the Horizon Foundation, and Quarterway Cotton Growers.