Mckinney Courier-gazette > News
OES offering landscape seminars
Seminars teaching composting techniques and building rain barrels are important, but likely the most important seminar is one teaching homeowners how to protect their homes from wildfires.
The McKinney Office of Environmental Stewardship (OES) is offering all three, free and open to the public.
The composting seminar is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the John & Judy Gay Library, located at 6861 W. Eldorado Parkway in McKinney. Erin Hofficer, a certified master composter with the Collin County Master Gardeners, will lead the seminar.
A seminar scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the John & Judy Gay Library will teach attendees how to harvest rainwater through building and using rain barrels at home. Although the seminar is free, class attendees need to pay $50 for materials to build a rain barrel and payment should be made no later than June 14. AgriLife Extension will provide the supplies for the rain barrel. Dotty Woodson of Dallas AgriLife Extension will lead
A seminar to teach firewise landscaping is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Fire Station #7, at 861 S. Independence in McKinney. Instructors for the seminar will be Jim and Judy Ewoldson, certified firewise landscape instructors with the Collin County Master Gardeners.
"Wildfires threaten people and property across Texas every summer," Jim said. "The idea of a firewise landscape is to reduce potential fuel by using fire-resistant plant materials strategically placed to lessen the chances of wildfire damaging your home."
Last year, wildfires destroyed thousands of acres and hundreds of homes throughout Texas. Jim said many of those homes could have been saved had firewise landscaping been around them.
The OES offers several tips to help keep a home fire-resistant. Firewise advisors emphasize that fire-resistant and fire-proof are not the same thing.
Some of the tips include:
*Keep vegetation at least three feet from the foundation of the house. Plants with moisture content do not readily ignite. Plants with resins, oils and volatiles are highly flammable and should be kept away from the house.
*Larger plants should be trimmed or replaced with smaller ones.
*Plant continuity should be broken up with non-combustible materials such as rock or lawn.
*Dead vegetation, such as leaves, pine needles and dead branches, should be pruned and removed.
*Branches that are hanging over the roof of the house should be cut and removed.
*Lower branches of trees should be cut to at least six to 10 feet above the ground.
To register for any of the seminars, or for more information, go to www.mckinneytexas.org/greenevents, or call the OES at 972-547-7335.
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