GATESVILLE — Landowners and nature lovers interested in learning about plants and wildlife along the banks of the Leon River can attend a free one-day workshop Thursday at the Grove Community Center and Mother Neff State Park.

The educational program on streams and the role of riparian vegetation – plant life growing along the river bank — is set for 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The morning session will be at The Grove Community Center, 5.5 miles from Mother Neff State Park near 5554 Texas State Highway 236. The afternoon field portion will take place at Mother Neff State Park, 1680 Texas State Highway 236, Moody.

The workshop will include indoor classroom presentations and field presentations by representatives from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The workshop is part of the Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program managed by the AgriLife Extension, said Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist and program coordinator.

The program is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Leon River, a 190-mile stream in north Central Texas, is the focus of watershed planning efforts by area stakeholders.

“Stakeholders recognize successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires a variety of management strategies,” said Mike Marshall, AgriLife Extension associate and Leon River watershed coordinator. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”

If you go

What: River Banks wildlife study.

When and Where: 8 a.m. Grove Community Center, near 5554 Texas State Highway 236; 4 p.m. at Mother Neff State Park, 1680 Texas State Highway 236, Moody.

Cost: The program is free, but a catered barbecue lunch is available for $10 cash.

Registration: Participants must register by Sept. 6 at

Contact: Nikki Dictson at 979-458-5915 or or go to

Contact Tim Orwig at

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