Town Creek - It's an Adventure! Creek Cleanup Notice

May Update:

Well, Earth Day has come and gone. The lowdown is, we had a great Earth Day exercise helping out LBJ National Historical Park’s Town Creek restoration efforts. All of you who said you would show up did so and the amount of work we accomplished is really impressive. For those of you who left early, no sweat, as others came and supplemented what you already had started. John Sone’s appearance was most unexpected as he has a family medial issue to deal with; his early appearance was most welcomed.

Ditto for Terry Casparis and the others of you from our group of local (and extended) area; Wes Cortney, Brad Adams, and Karen McCann along with myself gave the group a good sized labor force to uproot Ligustrum, Japanese Honeysuckle and Chinese Tallows - especially in the wetlands that crosses the trail to the event center on the Settlement.

By the time I left (2:45 to feed birds), our group with the addition of some PEC employee volunteers had essentially worked their way though the wet land marking Honeysuckle, girdling Tallows and making piles of branches and trees to be carried away to the creek bank depository. Meanwhile, lunch was provided by Friends of LBJ here in town.

At the conclusion of the effort at the park, several of our volunteer holdovers came downtown to help on our section of Town Creek. We were joined by LBJ National Historical Park Superintendent Susanne MacDonald and Deputy Superintendent, Justin Bates. I gave them a quick tour of the downtown portion of the creek and I know they were impressed with our efforts. Afterwards, the remainder of us determined that to heck with the work on the creek, being as tired as were were. We opted for wine, French bread and cheese instead;-) Wish you were here, LOL!

Heads up: I think we need an effort on our portion of the creek next week after the waters subside. Now that we have hands on experience, it’s time to get Town Creek Downtown in shape before chigger season and summer heat. Anyone have a day you want to recommend. I’m listening.

Cheers

Bill

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April 16, 2019 Update:

LBJ National Historical Park is having a followup volunteer effort on Earth Day, Monday, April 22nd, to restore the ecosystem of Town Creek on National Park property. Our Johnson City citizen's volunteer informal group is going to join with the park the help restore native riparian species to the creek banks. As per below, we have already had a single effort and hashed out a good plan to deal with invasive alien species that inhabit the creek habitat. I will post additional information here as time goes by. In the meantime, scroll down this post to find tools and clothes we recommend for working on the wild creek at the national park. The project begins at 8:00AM for the early birds, and ends at 4:00PM for the Johnny come lately - like me. You may also come and go as you need, take a break for lunch, chores, or whatever. Anything you can do to help will be appreciated.

When was the last time you played ‘piggyback’ with your friends? A while ago, I’ll bet. We’ll we are going to play piggyback on Earth Day, but in a different sense. As you know the LBJ National Park is hosting an Earth Day effort on Town Creek, Monday, the 22nd of April. The volunteer effort ends at the park at 4:00 PM. Our Town Creek volunteer group is going to pick up the effort after the four o’clock hour here in downtown Johnson City. We need to have about an hour or so effort on the creek to take out some Japanese Honeysuckle and a few other invasive species that have taken root along our downtown section of Town Creek. I am not planning a huge effort, so, please plan on moving downstream after the National Park effort ends and joining in another Tertulia afterwards. We’ll end our Earth Day environmental work on a party note. Stay tuned for further details; there may be a few surprises.

*Cliff Tylick brought his expertise to Johnson City a while back. Cliff demonstrated to me the techniques to girdle Ligustrum and we used his procedures on the larger Ligustrum at LBJ National Historical Park's recent volunteer effort to remove alien species on riparian areas at the park. I appreciate Cliff's efforts and I believe we are faithfully following his instructions while experimenting ourselves with various strategies to eliminate aggressive non-natives.

See observation and photos of Chinese Tallows in Willow and Cypress tree wetland being girdled :

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/21082018

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Update March 1, 2019:

Hello everyone

Yesterday, several groups of volunteers met at LBJ National Historical Park to walk the riparian areas of the Settlement and Town Creek to strategize a plan to begin remediation of invasive species affecting the upper portion of Town Creek here in town. We identified three areas at the park where eliminating Ligustrum, Chinese Tallow and other species would be of benefit of the upper Town Creek watershed at the park. The National Park has tools at its disposal that will help uproot smaller saplings and young invasive trees. We will add our labor to the effort and there should be teams of people working in the various areas to begin a process of thinning out the major trees sources of alien species that negatively contribute their seeds to the Town Creek riparian habitat.

The volunteers agreed that the target date for the first effort on Town Creek@ LBJ National Park will be Saturday, March 16th, 2019. We will be directing our attention to the old pond on the Settlement that is home for turtles, frogs, fish and other aquatic species. Ligustrum, Japanese Honey Suckle and other invasive species will be the targets for our activities. If you can join us, please do so and while this will be an all day affair, it will be perfectly fine to schedule your effort any time during that day. Please be sure to equip yourself with appropriate tools and clothing. See the list below. Please let me know if you plan to help out. Email me via this web page: http://www.lbjcountry.net/jcpage.htm

Thanks, everyone!
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This post is dedicated to an effort in Johnson City to encourage a creek cleanup/restoration that has been ongoing in town for a number of years. Beginning in 2014, volunteers here and friends from outside of town joined together to begin an attempt to reduce and control non native invasive species taking over Town Creek. Added to that was a trash cleanup that saw large pieces of debris and foreign objects like wheels, telephone poles and other matter removed from the creeks. We did a pretty decent job and to cap it off planted Cypress trees along the creek which are now large enough to grab viewers attentions even while driving down our streets. Now it is time to think about another effort to help native species out and take out as many Ligustrum and Chinese Tallow as we can to make more room for our native Box Elders, Dogwoods, Willows and other of our native beauties. I have been given some advice by Cliff Tylick, an Austin volunteer group leader on a technique he employs to kill off Ligustrum without the need of cutting it down or using herbicides to kill it.* He may be able to attend one of our efforts and demonstrate his technique for us. When and if that happens, I'll post an update here on this notice. Efforts will start on the creek cleanup/restore project as soon as we are assured that the Cedar season is over and we have enough warm weather to bathe in the creek;-)

Here's a link to the Austin based volunteer efforts and tools/technique used on Walnut Creek:

https://www.meetup.com/Keep-Walnut-Creek-Wild-The-Meetup-Group/photos/26708754/?albumsOffset=1&photosOffset=0&_cookie-check=OvQjZP5Oa5Y2g6fx

Remember we have a list of gear whose possession and use is encouraged:

Appropriate clothing and head gear - hats, sunglasses, safety googles and clothing you don't mind soiling.

Rubber gloves and boots

Regular work gloves

Change of shoes and clothes

Plastic trash bags and perhaps trash boxes of some type. Perhaps the city can provide one of those again.

Tools you might want to use in the creek; shovels, trowels, branch cutters, hand saws and anything else you feel appropriate.

Shoot me any ideas you have on any of the above.

Cheers

Bill

Posted by billarbon billarbon, February 12, 2018 16:01

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Glossy Privet Ligustrum lucidum

Observer

billarbon

Date

February 11, 2014 02:15 PM CST

Description

seed dispersal agents

Photos / Sounds

What

Chinese Tallow Triadica sebifera

Observer

billarbon

Date

November 3, 2018 12:12 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Chinese Privet Ligustrum sinense

Observer

billarbon

Date

March 17, 2019

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Possumhaw Ilex decidua

Observer

billarbon

Date

March 19, 2019

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Possumhaw Ilex decidua

Observer

billarbon

Date

March 16, 2019 04:17 PM CDT

Description

These berries were on the bushes since they formed in the fall and overnight they disappeared. Have no idea who or what consumed the harvest. Assumed our visiting Cedar Waxwings did most of the picking.

Comments

Thumb

I suggest that we organize a small group to do a walk around and observe the current conditions. We can then plan a few hours work with specific suggestions for the work to be done, tools needed, and expert advice.

Posted by tcspins1 over 1 year ago (Flag)

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