Texas Society for Ecological Restoration: November 5-6

Posted by Ryan Spates in Uncategorized on Nov. 7, 2010 - 2:55 pm

S&S Trails were invited by Kay Jenkins from TPWD to speak at the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration annual conference held in Tyler. This is a small, but very valuable conference that brings together people from around the state of Texas that are experts in the fields of forestry, biology, ecology, and native ecosystems. This year they wanted to add a trails component, to discuss with participants the nuts and bolts of integrating sustainable trail systems into sensitive natural areas.

Ryan was otherwise engaged building trail at Barton Creek West in Austin with the local crew, and since Susan was still recuperating from her ankle injury, she decided to commute up to Tyler to speak at the conference. The property where the conference was held was beautiful, and the onsite accommodations were comfortable and economical. After visiting with folks and putting last-minute touches on her presentation on Thursday evening, Susan presented her talk on Friday morning and it was very well received. In addition to discussing the basics of sustainable natural surface trail design and construction, Susan also showed a series of pictures from a trail renovation project in Tyler State Park that Kay had helped to organize a few years prior.

This project included not only some new trail construction, but also restoration of the old trail bed that had eroded badly over time and become unsafe for users. Areas surrounding the restoration section had also been re-landscaped with local native plants, which added to the “wow factor” of the before and after photos.

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Overall the experience was a positive one, as our company had never presented to this group before. The participants were very thankful for receiving the information, and a few follow-up contacts were made as a result of the conference. Hopefully this will continue to be a productive professional relationship over time.