Teaching our future generations the importance of water resource management, water conservation, and environmental science is the key to ensuring that they are invested in the protection of our natural resources as adults. BCRAGD participates in many outreach programs in which we work with the local Independent School Districts, working with kids of all grade levels.
Annually, BCRAGD participates in the local Soil and Water Conservation District’s Ag Day, during which a water quality activity is facilitated along with a display of river sampling equipment. This event usually takes place during late spring inside the show barn at Mansfield Park in Bandera.
BCRAGD offers a Career Day program at both the high school and middle school level. Career topics cover a variety of environmental-related jobs, emphasizing the overlap of science in the fields of agriculture, law, engineering, medicine, public health etc. The featured job descriptions include Aquatic Biologist, Environmental Code Enforcement, Ag Nutrient Management Specialist, Environmental Risk Assessor, Soil Conservationist, Water Well Inspector, HAZMAT team, Environmental Lawyer, Research Assistant, Hydro-geologist, and Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator.
Expanding Your Horizons
The Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Network is a global platform that seeks to increase female participation in the fields of math and science (as a part of the STEM effort) by facilitating local conferences that inspire middle school and high school aged girls in hands on workshops. Schreiner University hosts EYH annually, and BCRAGD proudly sponsors and collaborates with its implementation. BCRAGD helps sponsor EYH with a $500 contribution and provides District staff to host an aquifer science education and model build workshop. For more event information, visit: http://www.schreiner.edu/eyh/
Flood Awareness Programs
Throughout the facilitation of most District educational initiatives, there is a flood education component. Most commonly the flood education is tied in the riparian system function portion, featured within the Science in Action programs as well as the Water Resource Stewardship Program (listed below). Added emphasis is given to The Texas Floodplain Management Association’s Turn Around Don’t Drown program.
The District delivers the Texas Water Development Board elementary water education curriculum, Major Rivers, to the elementary schools in Bandera County. Those schools are Alkek Elementary, Hill Country Elementary, Medina ISD, and Utopia. For more program information visit: http://www.twdb.texas.gov/conservation/education/kids/majorrivers
Science in Action
This educational series, given its name by Bandera Middle School, features hands-on surface and groundwater educational programs put on by BCRAGD, including an aquifer build, a riparian system build, and native plant activity. The goal of the aquifer build is to emphasize its filtration function as it pertains to water quality. The aim of the riparian system build is to see the larger picture of the interaction of vegetation, water, and soil as they pertain to flood mitigation, water quality improvement, and water conservation. The native plant activity emphasizes the importance of selecting plants to match your climate.
Water Resource Stewardship Program
BCRAGD sponsors and co-facilitates the Nueces River Authority’s Water Resource Stewardship Education Program for Bandera, Medina, and Utopia 5th and 7th grade students. This program features a water use and conservation presentation, the demonstration of surface water runoff model and an aquifer model, with an emphasis on non-point source and point source pollution. In 2016 BCRAGD added a riparian system model and presentation component.