San Jacinto Times Coldspring, Texas: Former First Lady Laura Bush joined senior officials from Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR), Trinity River Authority, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to celebrate the ongoing restoration of Lake Livingston, Texas’ second largest lake. The event included a demonstration of American Water-willow (Justica Americana) plantings in the lake by local high school students as part of the community-based efforts to foster aquatic habitat and revitalize this important natural resource.
Texan by Nature, an organization founded by Laura Bush, designated LLFoR as a valued partner as a Conservation Wrangler for leadership in the restoration of Lake Livingston. In 2013, the Trinity River Authority and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department approved a plan to foster natural habitat around 85,000-acre Lake Livingston. The plan, developed by the Texas Black Bass Unlimited and the Piney Wood Lakes Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, created LLFoR and had a clear mission: reestablish Lake Livingston as a prime destination for anglers and water enthusiasts by restoring aquatic habitat. A major portion of Houston’s water supply comes from Lake Livingston, a reservoir paid for by Houston, under contract to and managed by the Trinity River Authority.
To accomplish their goal, LLFoR created a community-based, multi-generational volunteer pool ranging from local high school students in their early teens to retirees in their eighties. This also includes inmate horticulturists from Huntsville’s Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Ellis Unit that are developing improved methods for growing healthier plants in less time. So far, LLFoR has planted 10,100 American Water-willows at 18 sites, mostly in the southern portions of Lake Livingston.
“Our Conservation Wrangler Program features the very best Texan-led conservation projects, like the Lake Livingston restoration we are celebrating today,” said Mrs. Bush. “As we’ve seen firsthand, collaborative partnerships for conservation yield great benefits — for our natural landscapes, native plants and wildlife, and for everyone involved.”
About Texan by Nature
Texan by Nature was founded in 2011 by former First Lady Laura Bush to align the broad interests of conservation groups with business, healthcare, schools, the scientific community, and faith-based organizations. More information about Texan by Nature can be found www.texanbynature.org