It’s been an exciting couple weeks here in Texas! Surveys continue to keep us busy most days of the week. We’ve had some interesting visitors this hitch including a great group of soldiers visiting the lake for a “fun day” and more baby deer than we can count. The team has really hit their stride with surveys and is doing a fantastic job out in the ﬁeld!
This hitch we were also lucky enough to welcome our very own Alex Olsen out to Texas for a site visit. Alex joined us for the ﬁrst conservation project of this hitch, an endangered rice survey. The team partnered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife and some local volunteers to ﬂoat, swim, and kayak down the San Marcos River to inventory populations of endangered Texas Wild Rice. We snorkeled to ﬁnd populations, estimated percent coverage, took GPS points, and even found a little time to jump off a rope swing. Alex also managed to demonstrate the duality of human nature by being both a man god and a human hazard depending on the time of day and activity. It was a great day and we learned a lot about our local area, special thanks to Jeffrey Hutchinson at USFWS for inviting us to participate in such a fun project!
For the second conservation day this hitch Allison and Kim spent some time with a fellow SCA intern. The girls helped one of the SCA water safety interns at Whitney Lake create materials and set up a Leave No Trace booth for a weekend event. Unfortunately due to our survey schedule we were unable to attend the event, but it was a great chance to put that new Leave No Trace Trainer certiﬁcation to good use and get more involved in our SCA and local community.
The New England half of the team is still doing great with surveys, despite some bad weather. They spent their conservation days building bird boxes and hanging out with Boy Scouts. Tim and Adam spent time at a local park building and maintaining Bluebird and American kestrel boxes. They also visited Tim’s old Boy Scout camp and spoke to the scouts about conservation, environmental awareness, and futures in conservation.
It’s been a great hitch, stay tuned for the last month of the project!