Project type: Fish and Wildlife Management
Scout Name: Connor C.
Unit: Troop 405 Georgetown, Texas
Project Location: Twin Springs Natural Preserve
Partner Organization: Williamson County Conservation Foundation
During the spring of 2011, I completed a wildlife conservation project that benefited the Williamson County Conservation Foundation (“WCCF”). The project helped restore the habitat of the Georgetown Salamander that lives in the Twin Springs Natural Preserve in Georgetown, Texas. The preserve was damaged during the September 2010 flood.
The first goal of the project was to replace by hand large stones that are an important part of the habitat of the Georgetown Salamander. The stones got washed away near the mouth of the spring during the flood and were clumped in piles along the side of the spring.
The second part of the project was to clear a large amount of brush and debris that gathered downstream during the flood and caused the spring to divert onto the nature trail within the preserve. The goal was to remove the blockage in the stream and redirect the flow back to its original path.
The final part of the project was to make signs for the two entrances to the nature trail to educate the public about the fragile environment of the springs and some of the wildlife that live on the property.
One of the most exciting parts of the project occurred when we removed the last bit of brush and mud from a certain spot in the original spring. The water rushed back down its original path all at once. It was very rewarding for everyone to take a minute and watch the spring flow back in its original path.
After we completed the first two phases of the project in March 2011, Dr. Pierce’s students saw almost a 50% increase in the number of salamanders counted. The objective of helping the salamander population increase back to its original level was a success. Today the spring continues to flow in its original path.
One of the highlights of the project was being able to develop my leadership skills, such as providing training for the troop in Leave no Trace principles and teaching the scouts about the Georgetown Salamander. Other highlights included talking about the project during an interview with a reporter at the Williamson County Sun and presenting my project at a Williamson County Commissioners’ Court meeting.