About Air and Water

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Plants that sip - not chug - catch on

By SALLY CLAUNCH - Star-Telegram staff writer - Wed, Jun. 06, 2007
ARLINGTON -- Even with the recent rains, many residents are buying plants that don't need a lot of water, nursery owners say.

"It's important to conserve water for everybody and for our water bill," said Ann Jeffry of west Arlington.

Roni Crotty, Arlington's environmental specialist, said she has seen more native, drought-tolerant plants in Arlington yards, such as lantanas, salvia and Texas grasses.

"There are more of those plants in the nurseries; they're more available in chain nurseries and big-box stores," she said.

Crotty coordinates the city's annual Smart Yard Contest, in which residents compete for the most environmentally friendly yard. The contest, in its fourth year, is accepting entries until Aug. 15. Winners get a yard sign and bragging rights. Residents may enter their own yard or nominate someone else's.
With many cities still under mandatory watering restrictions, drought-resistant plants come in handy.

"It's still important to look forward to the hot, dry summer that's typical for Texas and plant drought-tolerant-type plants that will survive the heat of July and August," said Julie Hunt, Arlington Water Utilities director.

Hardy plants

Some popular drought-tolerant plants:
Red yucca
American beautyberry
Herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme

Smart Yard Contest

The city is accepting entries for the Smart Yard Contest through Aug. 15.

Contestants will be judged according to Texas SmartScape principles, which include:

The use of native and adaptive plants to conserve water.
The use of natural fertilizer, such as compost.
The use of alternatives to pesticides.
The use of plants that attract and sustain wildlife such as butterflies, bees and birds.

For other SmartScape principles, lists of preferred plants and gardening tips.

For more information about contest requirements and categories, contact the city's Environmental Services Department at 817-459-6587. Source: City of Arlington

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Travel to other worlds ... UTA Planetarium

Immersive full-dome 3-D Digital planetarium show narrated by Ewan McGregor (Obi wan Kepobi from Star Wars) - Astronaut takes you exporing the worlds of inner and outer space. The movie is projected all around you. You recline in specially constructed chairs which enables you to comfortably view the immersive full-dome planetarium show. Astronaut! (produced from the National Space Centre in England) goes beyond the stereotypical space movie. Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of the astronaut. Float around the international Space Station moving thorugh the microscopic regions of the human body! Discover the beauty and perils as "Chad", the test astronaut experiences everything thrown at him.

Summer Schedule (June 2-August 26):


shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Wed. through Saturdays at 11 a.m.
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Cosmic CSI

shows at the UTA Planetarium 3-D Digital Dome.

Wed. through Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Rock Hall of Fame 1 (The Original)

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Read more (Warning their flat dull website doesn't give much of a glimmer of the multi-dimensional experience you'll have once you enter the dome of the UTA Planetarium!)

Admission: Adults: $5.00

Seniors, Students, Children: $4.00

UTA Faculty, Staff & Alumni (with ID): $3.00

UTA Studens (with ID): $2.00

Groups of 10 or more with reservation: $3.00

Call 817 272-1183 or e-mail planetarium@uta.edu