OUTDOORS: Playa restoration fills grassland pits

The Texas Playa Conversation Initiative is offering participated landowners free backfilling of pits and trenches in playas surrounded by grass.
Backfilling restores hydrology for the benefit of residents and wildlife.
Healthy, functioning playas are areas of focused recharge to the Ogallala Aquifer with rates in playa basins 10 to 100 times higher than others.
“The water that reaches the aquifer through playas is cleaner than water that enters through other channels such as upland soils,” said Don Kahl, a natural resources specialist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Kahl said a pair of cleanings take place, removing nitrates and contaminants, resulting in high quality water reaching the aquifer.

River Bend Critter Camp set

River Bend Nature Center in Wichita Falls will have a critter camp from June 12-16.
Campers will learn about animals, how they build their own habitats, meet local animals and make animal tracks.
The camp will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.
For information, log onto the website: riverbendnaturecenter.org or call 940-767-0843.

Playas provide water, food and shelter in wetland areas, says the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. (Courtesy photo provided by the TPWD, used with permission)