Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 31, 2016     Hays Free Press
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August 31, 2016

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+ i,i' ii:ii ~i'!~:~' ~ ...... .... ~ Development focuses on family, environment. - Page 1D ~r~ ~ress August 31,2016 Page 1C SAMANTHA SMITH A s Mermaid week in Hays County ./. ldraws to a close, the Mermaid Society of San Marcos looks forward to its inaugural downtown Mermaid Parade and SPLASH festival Sept. 17, which caps off a week devoted to the arts and positive river stewardship, The organization, according to its website, is a grassroots community organization committed to strengthening connectivity among "like-spirited community partners," and to work creatively and coUaborafively towards a "shared vision in support of the arts, river stewardship, historic preservation and a local living economy." Although the Mermaid Society is based in San Marcos, its mission is a tmiversal one that concerns all residents of Hays County, as the San Marcos River and Aquarena Springs remain an integral part of Edwards Aquifer, the source of drinking water for millions. For longtime area resident Theresa Schwartz, the San Marcos River is a "very special place." Her love of the river stemmed from her experience working as an Aquamaid in the 1960s at Aquarena Springs, the starting point of the San Marcos River. As a member of a very exclusive club, Schwartz says she is supportive of the Mermaid Society's mission. She said they recognized issues surrounding people removing plant life from the river in order to sell it for fish tank decoration. It's a practice which has since been stopped as plant life in the river is now protected by law. But the Mermaid Soceity's celebration of the river brought fond memories of her years as an Aquamaid. She said Aquamaids were "very well protected and supervised" by staff at Aquarena Springs. "I have so many great memories and stories from working there," Schwartz said. One such story involves an Aquamaid, who did something daring and a little controversial during a show. TheAquamaid, who Schwartz swears will remain nameless, was involved in a picnic scene with two other Aquamaids in the Submarine theatre. It was at that time when a catfish, who was already notorious for swimming into the Aquamaids with his painful whiskers, tried to do it again. That's when the Aquamaid, who had lost her patience with the creature, took a fork from the mock picnic basket and plunged it into the annoying fish. Schwartz said the reactions from the Aquamaids was a mixture of humor and terror as Morning commuters in the downtown Kyle area Friday may have taken a double take when they saw people walking on the catwalk of the city water tower. The image wasn't a dream, as Kyle City Manager Scott Sellers, along with coun- cil member Travis Mitchell and Chief of Staff Jerry Hendrix climbed up to the water tower and'hoisted brushes and a bucket of water to clean parts of the exterior of the tank. The move helped offset the need for a full restoration, which would cost roughly $200,000. Helping were members of the Kyle Fire Department and several Kyle city staffers. /ii !~! i!~ PHOTO COURTESY OF THERESA SCHWARTZ Mountain City resident Theresa Schwartz was an Aquamaid at Aquarena Springs theme park in the 1960s while living in San Marcos. the audience ftdl of crying children watched as the impaled fish drifted slowly to the bottom. Other memories Schwartz has reflect the simplicity and beauty of the Aquamaids Mermaid shows. According to Schwartz being a part of the Aquamaid team was a very special honor. For the Mermaid Society, encouraging Hays County residents to foster a sense of stewardship for the San Marcos River and the Aquifer, which they say brings a life-giving precious resource flowing thorough the veins of Central Texas, is paramount. When it came to the festival, Shwartz, who along with 15 of her friends were invited by the society to walk in the parade, said she was going just going "to go with it." PHOTOS BY MOSES LEOS III It'sAbout Thyme by Chris Winslow Wath tomorrow's rrival of the ew month, we enter a period of transition, as we move from the doldrums of summer into what can be one of the busiest of seasons for central Texas gardeners. Some jobs for this month. 1. Cut back annual summer flowers, mulch, and feed. We have approximately 75 to 90 days till the first frost ... plenty of time to get a renewed flush of color. 2. Depending on the amount of rain we're having, be ready to water your trees, shrubs, turf grass and landscape beds. Slow, deep watering will encourage a deep root system and make your landscape more able to withstand drought. 3. Plant new vegetables for fall and winter harvests during the last week of this month: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. 4. Buy bulbs. The season to plant tulips, hyacinths, crocus, jonquils, daffodils, grape hyacinths and anemones is just around the corner. 5. Mulch all beds and trees with compost mixed with mulch. This mixture will protect plant roots from heat and cold extremes, and conserve water. 6. Inspect trees for fall webworms, and if you find them, come up with a strategy to get rid of them using Thuricide or Dipel. 7. Fertilize lawn towards the end of the month. (Please choose an organic fertilizer.) 8. Be on 'brown patch alert' for your grass, and be ready to treat this disease with the organic Actinovate. 9. Keep on the lookout for a world of fall bedding (annual) plants. As temperatures cool, we can begin to plant dianthus, snapdragons, and petunias. 10. Watch for black spot and mildew on roses. With cooler weather, these pesky rose diseases will begin to show up. An organic spray of Neem oil or wettable sulfur should help in keeping it at bay. Happy gardening everyone! If you have a question for Chris Winslow, send it to him via emaih iathyme@yahoo. com. Or mail your question to Chris at: It's About Thyme: i1 726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748