By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of May 15, 2006
“Water Saver Contest, Birdathon
and Garden Jazz Events”
year SAWS, San Antonio River Authority, Edwards Aquifer Authority, the Gardening
Volunteers of South Texas, and the San Antonio
Botanical Garden sponsor the Water
Saver Landscape Contest. Winning
Landscapes in two categories – homeowner designed and professionally designed
are awarded $400, $200, and $100 gift certificates for first, second, and third
prizes. This year, the winning
landscapes were first – Kent Page at 8726 Drayton
Heights, San Antonio, Texas,
second – Maria Sapien at 423 Tiger Hills, San Antonio, Texas,
and third – Hector and Liliane Castillo at 11624 Creek Crown, San
Antonio, Texas, in the
homeowner designed category. Honorable
Mentions were Frederica and Martin Kushner, at 405 East Myrtle, San
Antonio, Texas, and Eric Harrison at 3320 Clearfield,
San Antonio, Texas. In the professionally designed category, the
first place winner was Robert Gaeke at 13855 Iron
Horse Way, Helotes, Texas,
second place went to Janet Dumas at 11347 Amhurst, San Antonio,
Texas, and third place to Billy Perryman at 17314 Sable
Landing, San Antonio, Texas. Next time you are in the vicinity of any of
these landscapes, make a point to drive by.
See if any of their ideas would work in your yard to make it more
attractive and save water.
Birdathon at the Mitchell Lake
was another great event. Every year the Center invites birdwatchers that
support the Center to obtain pledges from friends and businesses. The pledges represent an amount per bird
species that the participant identifies at the Refuge on Birdathon
This year despite the heavy rains on Saturday
morning, 23 individualsbirded and approximately $20,000 was raised. Birders who obtained pledges totaling $500 or
more were rewarded with the opportunity to “bird” with
Kenn Kaufman, author of several books including Birds of North
America, Butterflies of North America, and Guia de Campo
Kaufman a las Aves Norteamerica.
Overall, it appears that about 125 different species were identified. The Gardening South Texas/KLUP Radio Team, of
which I am a member, along with Jerry Parsons, and Milton Glueck,
identified 80 species (with the help of Kenn Kaufman) on Friday morning. We had pledges of over $1,000from listeners
of the radio show and Milberger’s Nursery matched all pledges
for a total of over $2,000. The
largest portion of the $20,000 came from the Tesoro Team, their birders
business supporters included the H.E.B. Environmental Group, Southside
Reporter, McCarter Communications, Starbucks, Allied Waste, Curious
Naturalist, and Dr. Lynn Parsons.
Councilman Roland Gutierrez, and Councilwoman Elena K. Guajardo
of Districts three and seven, respectively, also provided support.
On Sunday, May 7, 2006, over 2,000 people participated in the
12th Annual Garden Jazz Event.
The idea of the event is to attract San
Antonio area jazz fans to the Botanical Garden
to have all their xeriscape questions answered.
Attendees who visited all nine stations – landscape planning,
plant selection, reduce turf grass, mulch, soil improvement, appropriate
maintenance, hardscape, wildscape, and efficient watering were rewarded
with a Garden Jazz t-shirt, and a Landscape Care Guide.
The Landscape Care Guide is a SAWS publication written by nine
area horticulturists to show our residents how to have 12 months of
color, and a lush, healthy landscape without wasting water.
The photographs are also outstanding.
The publication is provided free to anyone who attends a SAWS
sanctioned program, but it is also available for sale for $8 at area
nurseries, and shops such as Milberger’s, Antique Rose Emporium,
Fanick’s, Schultze House Gift Shoppe, and the Botanical Garden