Environment

Environment
11:49 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Balancing Rural And Urban Water Needs

Difficult decisions lie ahead as urban areas demand more water, rural areas experience loss of spring flow, and our region faces increased challenges brought by population growth and drought. Are Central Texas’ water planning processes on track to balance the needs of its rural and urban users and protect the natural water resources that sustain our ecologic and economic health?

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Sustainability
4:25 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

You Don't Need To Live In Seattle To Have A Rain Garden

Rain Garden
San Antonio River Authority

Recent Rains have some of you thinking about fall in your garden and what you should do there. I've found a fascinating project that you didn’t even know you needed. It’s called a rain garden.

“A rain garden is a shallow depression that is placed in a position where it collects storm water runoff from areas where that runoff is concentrated; like rain gutters, or off a driveway, or a sidewalk.”

Lee Marlowe works with sustainable landscapes for the San Antonio River Authority.

“And you intercept that rain flow with a shallow depression.”

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Environment
6:15 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Conservation Deal Saves Bracken Bat Cave On Halloween

Team that spearheaded the purchase of 1500 acres adjacent to Bracken Bat Preserve, L-R Laura Huffman, State Director of the Nature Conservancy; San Antonio City Council Member Ron Nirenberg; and Fran Hutchins, Director of the Bracken Bat Cave
Credit Jon Alonzo

 

Friends of the Bracken Bat Cave can breathe a little easier today, now that a threatened encroachment by a high-density housing development is officially over.

That's because the real estate deal closed Friday, transferring the land from Galo Properties to the Nature Conservancy.

Defendants of the Bracken Cave have been working on this deal for more than a year.  The effort was spearheaded by San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, who took up the challenge to visit the cave right after he was elected in 2013.

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Environment
6:27 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Proving Aquaponics Vegetable Gardens Are Viable for Small Businesses and Families

A large aquaponics greenhouse.
Credit Marfa Public Radio

A team of scientists at Texas A&M is working on an "aquaponics” project to demonstrate a lower-cost method of growing vegetables – and raising fish.

The method is not new – but scientists are hoping to attract home gardeners and entrepreneurs to the field of soilless food production.

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Environment
3:33 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Saving the Bracken Bat Cave

Up to 20 million bats fly from the Bracken Bat Cave each night during the summer. They eat a total of 100 tons of insects from the crops grown in South Texas.
Credit Jacqueline Ferrato / Bat Conservation International

 

San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg announced an agreement last week to protect the world’s largest bat cave from encroachment by future development.

The city will join with several other entities to turn the 1,500-acre property, known as Crescent Hills, into a conservation easement that will permanently protect the area’s natural resources. 

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Gardening
12:22 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Why Going Native Is the Smartest Thing You Can Do This Fall

Bigtooth Maple
Jack Morgan

As Texas slowly begins its cool-down, many people turn their thoughts toward landscaping in the fall and  winter.  Landscaping is tough work, but there are things you can do to make it easier, and also cheaper. How? Well, you need to go native.   

“Native Plant Week is a week that has been designated to make people more aware of using native plants in their landscape.”

Mary Moses is with Comal County’s Native Plant Society of Texas.

“Using Native Plants makes for a healthier habitat that supports wildlife. Bees…it just makes the earth more healthy.”

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Environment
1:04 am
Mon September 8, 2014

"Bee-Whisperer" Promotes Protection Of Nature's Tiny Workers

Walter Schumacher takes a honeycomb out of a bucket during the removal of 150,000 honey bees at a San Antonio home.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

One San Antonio woman is relieved that her bee problem is finally gone. But Norma Ramon now knows not to call any more exterminators if honey bees invade her home. She'll call the "Bee Whisperer."

After months of honey bees building a hive that grew to at least 4 feet by 2 feet, 150,000 bees would not go away even after exterminators tried to kill them off.

"I had a couple of companies come out and work on it and they tried their best, they really did, and nothing happened," she said.

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Solar Power
10:38 am
Fri September 5, 2014

With Activation Of New Solar Site, OCI Brings Power To 25,000 More Homes Per Year

OCI's Alamo 2 solar farm.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

OCI Solar Power announced Thursday that it has "flipped the switch" on 39 megawatts of solar power at the Alamo 4 project, making the newly completed solar farm just west of San Antonio operational.

OCI officials say the company is on track to bring an additional 145 megawatts of solar power to the state by the end of this year.

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Green Construction
9:49 am
Fri September 5, 2014

CPS Energy Rewards University Hospital For Energy-Efficient Buildings With $500,000

University Hospital's new Sky Tower increased green space to cool the property, including healing gardens integrated into the building and landscapes designed to produce a lush tree canopy over 50 percent of the site within five years
Credit UHS

  University Health System Thursday accepted a check for half a million dollars in rebates for energy savings. It was the second large, commercial rebate announced this week.

George Hernandez, president and CEO of University Health System, said the new University Hospital Sky Tower is designed to use 20% less energy than a similar structure built to “normal” building codes.

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Environment
9:08 am
Thu September 4, 2014

SARA Approves Lower Tax Rate Due To Higher Home Values

Officials take a look at the new paddling trail on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River
Credit Bexar County

  

It’s that time of year again, when taxing entities come up with new budgets and go to taxpayers with rate increases – or in some cases, decreases.

The San Antonio River Authority is one of those taxing entities and has set a new, lower tax rate for the next fiscal year, but it means a slight increase for most homeowners because of rising property values.

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