Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Evolving Style

Check out this week's piece on As We Are -- http://www.aswearemagazine.com/content/view/189/94/

Beginning with this article, the tone and style of my writing will begin to match those of my blog writing. Although I rather enjoy straight reporting of environmental issues (and potential solutions), I find that I'm becoming more comfortable sharing my own insights alongside research data. Stay tuned for the evolution of Earth Mother!

Don't Miss This!

This Saturday, July 28th, at 1pm we will be speaking about "The Best of Texas" at North Haven Gardens in Dallas. Our presentation will explain why native plants are the best choice for your landscape. From drought to deluge, they continue to perform without harming our local ecoregion. For directions and other information about the nursery, please visit their website at www.nhg.com. Hope to see you there!

Library Speakers Series

As part of Live Green in Plano, the City is sponsoring a speakers series Monday evenings at 7pm at W.O. Haggard Jr Library, 2501 Coit Rd., Plano 75075. FREE ADMISSION.

Monday, July 30th, Lynda Strain of LKS Garden Designs will present "Colorful Texas Natives for Your Landscape." Her presentation will highlight the beauty and diversity of native Texas plants, along with adapted and drought tolerant plants.

Come out and enjoy these great programs sponsored by the City of Plano!

Our Move--Grr

I think we all can agree that moving ranks pretty high on the universal icky list. Fortunately, our transition has gone rather smoothly, except for a few glitches with communications providers. Phones were transferred yesterday and online service will follow soon. Our mailing address will remain the same, but some changes have been made. Here is the correct information:

David & Christy Ilfrey
NativeDave, Inc.
PO Box 261845
Plano TX 75026-1845
972.596.3889 Phone
972.599.7834 Fax
info@nativedave.com -- for general information
nativedave@nativedave.com -- contact David
christy@nativedave.com -- contact Christy
folsom@nativedave.com -- ruff ruff
nativebabe@nativedave.com -- to be updated to nativebabe's birth name in January 2006!

Lesson Learned

Don't announce a website overhaul, and certainly don't launch it, unless all updates are complete. We have ditched the 'site we were working on -- it just wasn't working out as we had planned. Instead, we've opted to tweak an earlier version until further notice.

Next time, we won't make any changes until we have made all the changes. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Upon the Passing of Lady Bird Johnson

During his undergraduate studies, David wrote a research paper about Mrs. Johnson and the Wildflower Center she founded. Today, she passed away at age 94. The Center sent out this beautiful email notification:

"With the nation, we mourn the passing of our beloved founder, Lady Bird Johnson, who died at her home in Austin on Wednesday July 11, surrounded by her loving family.

Mrs. Johnson created the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1982 as a place where people could visit beautiful native wildflower gardens, and learn about the role served by native plants and native landscapes in maintaining a healthy environment and defining our sense of place.

Even before this wonderful place existed, Mrs. Johnson was a champion of our natural heritage. As First Lady, Mrs. Johnson traveled all over the country to draw public attention to the need to protect our natural treasures and to address growing environmental problems. She was the driving vision behind the Highway Beautification Act, and a public force for expansion of the National Parks System, the preservation of wilderness, and other initiatives. Her example and her accomplishments laid the groundwork for the later emergence of a national environmental movement.

As Mrs. Johnson said: 'The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.'

Mrs. Johnson's extraordinary vision and commitment will live on at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We urge you to visit the Center and enjoy the place she loved so much."

TOMS Shoes for Tomorrow

It's time for a long-overdue rave...

Have you read about TOMS? I love this company. So I don't leave out pertinent info, I'll copy content from a letter I received with my pair of TOMS:

"Congratulations! You are one of the first people to own a pair of TOMS, but more importantly you made a difference in the life of a child. Not only will a child in South America receive great health benefits from having a new pair of shoes, but they will also experience the joy of receiving a gift, which for many will be their first."

I'm so pleased with my new TOMS shoes -- they are definitely comfortable and Flower Power-y -- but I feel good knowing I've helped them fulfill their mission to bring shoes to children-in-need. Check out their website for more information about Blake Mycoskie (designer/chief shoe giver), his vision, and read their blog. Definitely. He and Zach (assistant shoe giver, I presume?) have been traveling around the country in an RV. They meet people, deliver shoes. Funny posts, too.

Customer service is SPOT ON. Styles change occasionally, but a feel-good purchase for $40 is timeless. Visit www.TomsShoes.com -- you won't be disappointed! For a special deal, enter promo code emmap...what's better than free shipping?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Don't Be Fooled

Mandatory watering restrictions are being lifted around the metroplex as a result of near-record rainfall. Lakes are at full- or near-full capacity. Already I've heard murmurs of "oh good, we can go back to watering like we used to." WRONG. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. The thing is, we have plentiful water today, but give it another week or so. The rain will stop, the ground will dry up, and if we all resume pre-drought watering regimen, we will waste away our "savings." Remember that we have many more residents in our area than just 2 years ago, and our population will continue to grow at an average rate of 400 people per day. We must preserve our water sources to allow everyone access to clean water for drinking and showering. A golf course-like lawn is simply just not a responsible investment.

Celebrate our water surplus by continuing to conserve, preserve, restore and celebrate it and all of our natural resources. Water-wise behaviors are necessary now and forever, not just during times of drought or watering restrictions.

Keep up the good work!

Live Earth Intends to "Urge Earth Awareness"


Thursday, July 05, 2007

City of Plano Moves to Water Conservation Plans

City of Plano Press Release
Watering Restrictions Terminated - NTMWD and the City Move to Water Conservation Plans

PLANO, Texas (July 3, 2007) – The City of Plano today terminated the enforcement of its Drought Contingency Plan, which has been in Stage 3 since June 19, 2006. This action is taken in response to the NTMWD’s decision to move from Stage 3 of its Drought Contingency Plan to its Water Conservation Plan.

Citizens are encouraged to continue the practice of good water conservation measures:
  • No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • No excessive watering such that a constant stream of water overflows from the lawn onto driveways, sidewalks or streets.
  • Remember, only one inch of water is needed weekly for your lawns and shrubs.
  • No watering during rain or any precipitation events.

“Much has been learned during the past year of drought. We must continue to be good stewards of this natural resource” said Jim Foster, Director of Public Works. “We’ve been praying for rain, and it has been received. I applaud the citizens, businesses, and institutions in Plano for helping the City save almost 6.5 billion gallons of water during the past twelve months. This represents a reduction of 27.5% when compared to our average annual use in the past four years. We have shown that water conservation can become a part of our lives.”

The recent and continued rain events have provided the much needed relief to the drought conditions that have affected the NTMWD reservoir system. Since the beginning of 2007, Lake Lavon has returned to full capacity and Lake Jim Chapman/Cooper has gained 16+ feet and is currently at 89 percent of its capacity. As a result, NTMWD recommended moving from Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan to the Water Conservation Plan based on the following recent changes:

  • The three reservoirs utilized by NTMWD have all had significant gains in capacity - Lavon and Texoma are full and Chapman is only 1.5' low;
  • With the low water demands in recent months, NTMWD can stay within the State-approved water rights for the remainder of 2007;
  • NTMWD has received correspondence from the TCEQ that the East Fork Raw Water Supply Project water rights permit is within days of being finalized and issued.