2020 Events and projects
Our 2020 projects and events will center around Monarch and milkweed monitoring, restoration work on the Thicket Patch, native plant seed collection in the Coronado National Forest and Thicket Patch, and public outreach to inform our community about the importance of native plants, pollinators and limiting pesticide use.
Along with hosting exhibit booths and giving presentations at nature festivals and other community events, our public outreach includes supporting and contributing to long-term databases used for research, including annual bird and butterfly counts, as well as native plant distribution. The database we use most for identifying native plants is Southwestern Environmental Information Network (SEINet). The plant specimens we collect (one shown to the right) are curated at the University of Arizona Herbarium, scanned and uploaded to the SEINet database for inclusion in their range maps, photographs and other data.
This database can be accessed at http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/index.php
A scanned piece of Pineland Figwort (Scrophularia parviflora) from the high elevation coniferous forests of the Huachuca Mountains.
This plant specimen was submitted to the University of Arizona's Herbarium to be curated (mounted, catalogued and stored) in their permanent collection.
But Covid-19 had other plans for all of us.
As the COVID-19 saga unfolds, we continue to move forward by attending virtual training, meetings and conferences, such as the Arizona Native Plant Society annual conference, the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) southwest chapter symposium, and monarch monitoring training through Monarch Joint Venture.
Although we are a non-political nonprofit, we felt very strongly about supporting other environmental organizations in protest of the Arizona/Mexico border wall through the San Pedro River and other areas protected by federal environmental laws that were waived.
Covid-19, however, had no influence at all on gopher activity in our ongoing restoration project site, the Thicket Patch. Entire rows of milkweed plants are gone! It is truly baffling how cattle can become sick eating a milkweed plant but gophers, a fraction of their size, can remove numerous plants, roots and all. We purchased 10 more of our favorite milkweeds, Arizona Milkweed (Asclepias angustifolia) and put the root ball in a wire basket before planting to hopefully give these plants a fighting chance.
Below left and right are Horsetail and Antelope-Horns milkweed. PoCo volunteers collected seeds from all three of these milkweed species growing on private property to be propagated by native plant nurseries for future restoration projects in Arizona.
In March, PoCo was contacted by the Friends of the San Pedro River to give them advice about what native milkweeds grow within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). There are three beautiful milkweeds native to this area: Horsetail (Asclepias subverticillata), Bract (A. brachystephana) and Antelope-horns (A. asperula). All three species were purchased at local native plant nurseries and the long-time volunteers made a small Native Milkweed Garden, with plant signage, near the San Pedro House bookstore. Below is a blooming Bract Milkweed.
Coronado National Memorial pollinator garden . . .
Zoe and Jessie of Sky Island Alliance visiting the Thicket Patch to give tips on setting up the wildlife camera to collect data for the FotoFauna project.
See our web page entitled Videos for images of wildlife . . .
Wildlife camera set-up on the Thicket Patch . . .