Posts tagged “parks

Get ready for the October monarch migration

By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

After enduring the summer heat, fall is always a welcome relief in Texas. It’s also an ideal time to sow nectar plants for the monarch butterfly migration and to prepare your gardens for the spring.

Texas is an important stop in the journey since it’s situated between the butterflies’ main breeding grounds in the north and their wintering areas in the south. The monarchs funnel through the Lone Star State in both fall and spring.

Monarch Garden Tips

The butterflies are expected to pass through the Brazos Valley in early October, according to Jane Cohen, the A&M Garden Club’s butterfly chair. She recommends growing nectar-producing plants to benefit the monarchs. The blooming flowers provide a sweet liquid that provides energy for the insects as they travel.

Here are 14 nectar plants to consider for your garden:

  • Black-Eyes Susan
  • Zinnia
  • Plumbago
  • Cassis
  • Goldenrod
  • Pipe-Vine
  • Purple Mist
  • Passion Vine
  • Senna
  • Sunflower
  • Hollyhock
  • Purple coneflower
  • Lantana
  • Joe-Pye Weed

Cohen says it’s best to plant in locations with plenty of sunshine since adult butterflies typically prefer to feed in the sun.

Vibrant colors such as red, yellow, orange, pink and purple tend to attract adult butterflies the most, and they also are drawn to patches of the same plant or color of flowers. It’s a good idea to incorporate continuous-blooming annuals in islands of color, or clusters of nectar plants and is beneficial to include milkweed either nearby or mixed.

You should also be mindful of the flower’s orientation. It’s important that flower blossoms are flat-topped or clustered to make a platform for the butterfly to land and walk. Butterflies need nectar throughout the adult phase of their life span, so plant for a continuous bloom so that when one plant stops blooming, another begins.

More About Milkweed

Milkweed is the only plant the caterpillar eats and is where butterflies lay their eggs. That makes an abundance of milkweed vital, especially in the spring. Milkweed can be planted in early fall, but the seeds are best planted in November when it’s too warm for the ground to be frozen, but too cool for the seeds to sprout until spring.

Tropical milkweed is a primary monarch food source, but it should be cut back to the ground in late fall to encourage the butterflies to continue their journey to Mexico.

An excellent way to start your garden is to pick up two free Butterfly Retreat seed packets from our Central Park office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd. Each pack covers more than 20 square feet and contains a wildflower mix that’s perfect for creating a butterfly habitat.

Educational Opportunities

  • Butterflies in the Brazos Community Meeting: Share your ideas and plans to promote monarch butterflies and other pollinator habitats on Wed., Sept. 27 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Brazos Center. The free gathering includes education about local groups and their efforts to increase awareness about butterfly preservation, native plants for butterflies, and other pollinators. We will also explore ways to involve residents and identify community partners for networking along with an overview of basic gardening tips. The program will feature speakers from the A&M Gardening Club, Texas Master Naturalist, Keep Brazos Beautiful, Native Plant Society, Master Gardeners, Monarch Gateway, the USDA/TAMU Future Scientist Program, and the College Station Parks & Recreation Department.
  • Landscaping and Plants for Butterflies: Ann Boehm of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Master Gardeners and Butterflies in the Brazos will give an overview on landscaping and plants for butterflies. The free class will be Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Producers Ag Center (1800 N. Texas Ave.) in Bryan. You don’t need to RSVP.

We also invite you to visit our community demonstration gardens that were created by local community organizations:

For more information, go to cstx.gov/monarchs.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Kutch is in her third year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

Photo Copyright: xkardoc/123RF Stock Photo

 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Park Preserves in ETJ: In the workshop, the council will discuss parkland needs and possibilities in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  2. Traffic Control Center Award: The council will recognize the city’s Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the national award they received for the innovative Traffic Control Center.
  3. Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a request to add a four-way stop at the intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive to improve safety.
  4. Water Well No. 9: Also on the consent agenda is a $5.6 million contract for the construction of the city’s ninth water well to add capacity to meet population projections.
  5. Off-Street Parking Standards: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Construction Activity Hours: In the workshop, the council will discuss changes to the permissible hours of construction activities.
  2. Library Expansion: The council will hear workshop update on the final details regarding the expansion of the Larry J. Ringer Library. The project is ready to bid for construction with completion projected for early 2019.
  3. Southeast Community Park: The council will discuss details of the Southeast Community Park Project, including renderings, funding, projected use, and economic impact.
  4. FY18 City Budget: The final workshop item is a presentation on the city’s proposed FY18 budget. The council will review the document in detail during workshops scheduled Monday-Wednesday of next week.
  5. Chimney Hill Property: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider a request to amend the concept plan for the 8-acre Chimney Hill property on University Drive. The change will allow for redevelopment of the property.

(more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 9)

By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:02 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • New Parks in The Barracks: This item is a $977,391 contract with Acklam Construction for three new parks and upgrades to existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

  • Royder Road Right-of-Way: A $200,000 contract for the right-of-way needed for the expansion and realignment of Royder Road.

6:15 p.m.

Historical Display in Northgate

The council heard a presentation about a concept to recognize the long history of local music and musicians who received their start in Northgate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:25 p.m.

Bike Rack Requirements

The council discussed requirements for bike racks in the city.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:57 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. The council approved the absence of Place 6 Councilman James Benham.

7:10 p.m.

Seabees’ 75th Anniversary
The council recognized the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, which were known as Seabees. A special presentation involved six Seabees. From left to right, they are Carpenter’s Mate 2nd Class Bill Johnston (World War II veteran), Commander David Coleman, Painter 1st Class Jim Rothermel (World War II veteran), Lt. j.g. Philip Bargas, Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist Stuart Denner, Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist James Michael Guidry and Mayor Mooney.

75th anniversary of U.S. Navy Seabees

7:20 p.m.

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda. Ben Roper recognized Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 31-year-old West Lafayette, Ohio, native died Oct. 19, 2011, from injuries inflicted by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Border, a Navy Seabee, was a skilled builder with specialties in roads, runways, officers’ huts and bridges.

7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A three-year, $1.8 million contract with McCord Engineering for electrical engineering services.
  • An amendment to the Department of State Health Services Vital Statistics Unit Remote Birth Access Contract that addresses the statement of work, billing, and the contact representative.
  • A $977,391 contract with Acklam Construction for the addition of three parks and upgrades to existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.
  • A $200,000 contract for the purchase of right-of-way for the expansion and realignment of Royder Road.

7:28 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:29 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, March 23.


4 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are four items to watch:

  1. Historical Display in Northgate: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about a concept to recognize the long history of local music and musicians who received their start in Northgate.
  2. Bike Rack Requirements: The council will also have a workshop discussion about requirements for bike racks in the city.
  3. Seabees’ 75th Anniversary: The council will recognize the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, which were known as Seabees.
  4. The Barracks’ Parks: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $977,000 contract for three new parks and the upgrade of four existing parks in The Barracks subdivision.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:                                                                 

 


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Major changes underway at popular Lick Creek Park

lick-creek-park-sign
By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Staff Assistant

For almost 30 years, if you wanted a quick escape from the busy sounds of our growing community, you probably headed for the peaceful solitude of Lick Creek Park, the area’s premier nature preserve. If you’ve been there in recent months, your search for serenity may have been interrupted by the sounds of hammers and bulldozers.

But don’t worry, it’s only temporary — and the results will be worth it.

The 515-acre park on East Rock Prairie Road is undergoing extensive improvements, including the construction of a long-awaited nature center.

Established in 1987 as part of land negotiations to create a city industrial area, Lick Creek Park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. The park offers five miles of marked trails and provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.

lick-creek-walkingdogsIt’s also the city’s largest off-leash dog park.

Lick Creek Nature Center

In the 2008 bond election, residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection. Torrential rains last spring and summer caused additional delays.

Thankfully, the nature center’s construction and other improvements in the park are underway and are expected to be finished by May.

The nature center will soon be the park’s focal point and will provide citizens and visitors an educational opportunity to learn about the animals and plants that call the park home. Features include a 2,400-square foot building with a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, an amphitheater and native plant displays.

Other Improvements

As a part of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge to help save the threatened butterfly population, the park will include a monarch-friendly demonstration garden and a butterfly trail with abundant milkweed — the butterfly’s host plant — and other nectar-producing plants. The site will be a prime spot to watch the monarchs’ annual migration and metamorphosis.

The rerouting of trails will improve the flow and create a major pathway that connects the nature center to the park’s west entrance at Pebble Creek Parkway, which is the trailhead for the Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail that winds more than five miles across town to Creek View Park.

lickcreek2Trail surfaces also will be upgraded, and new signage and maps will guide visitors through the trail system.

Meanwhile, informational signage throughout the park will identify trees, plants, birds, insects, butterflies, and wildlife. Benches along trails and at each trail intersection will allow visitors to pause and enjoy the park’s beautiful scenery.

Bicycle racks will also be accessible at the four major entry ways.

Don’t wait to enjoy Lick Creek Park

Although the improvements won’t be finished until the spring, the park remains open. You can still enjoy the park’s natural design, but be cautious and obey signs noting construction and closed areas.

Portions of the park that are closed include the Rock Prairie Road entrance and parking lot, Yaupon Loop Trail, and part of Post Oak Trail. Parking is available in the equestrian lot off Rock Prairie Road northwest of the main entrance.

The improvements and amenities will enhance one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and make it more accessible – and enjoyable — for young and old alike.

For more on College Station’s park system, go to cstx.gov/parks.


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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