2017 Events and projects
Sept-Dec 2017: We have been busy! Our restoration site project, known as the Thicket Patch, with GreaterGood's crowd-funding Earth Site has started and we're busy getting water to the site, buying local native plants, putting in a fence and pathways, and enjoying the cooler weather. Unfortunately the grasshoppers were out of control this year, so planting had to stop until next spring.
9/27/2017: Borderlands Restoration and PoCo were granted a Research Access Permit to collect seeds and herbarium specimens on the Fort Huachuca Army base. Restoration work is very gratifying but slow to show results, so being in the field in pristine habitat such as Garden and Huachuca Canyons on Fort Huachuca is very inspiring. Also, the seeds will be grown out by the Borderlands nursery for future restoration projects on local land.
9/17/2017 at 1:30pm: Friends of the Huachuca Mountains invited Director Karen to give a presentation on native plants and lead a nature hike around the Carr House. http://www.huachucamountains.org/programs/
8/12/2017 at 9:00am: The Cochise County Cooperative Extension’s WaterWise program on native plants will be presented by Director Karen and Francesca Claverie, Manager of Borderlands Restoration’s native plant nursery. Borderlands will be selling local native plants after their presentation. https://cals.arizona.edu/cochise/waterwise/index.html and http://borderlandsrestoration.org/plant-propagation/
8/5/2017 at 8:00am: A hummingbird identification workshop for Southwest Wings Nature Festival taught by Charles Melton will be held at PoCo’s Thicket Place demonstration garden. http://www.swwings.org/copy-of-field-trips and http://www.nearfamous.com/
8/3/2017 at 9:00am: Director Karen is giving a presentation at the Southwest Wings Nature Festival on Flowering Plants in the Huachuca Mountains and their Pollinators. http://www.swwings.org/copy-of-field-trips
8/1/2017: The annual Ramsey Canyon Butterfly Count compilation dinner will be held at the PoCo Thicket Place demonstration garden. In the past, volunteers have documented over 100 species of butterflies within the 15 mile radius count circle. http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabasa/NABACounts.html
7/24-29/2017: PoCo was invited to attend the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute’s training and field course on native plant materials. Topics will include habitat and ecological restoration; native plant identification, propagation, collection and processing; native plant and nursery management; and in-field botany practice of identification, field guide use and herbarium pressing in Aravaipa Canyon. http://www.borderlandsinstitute.org/
5/26/2017: PoCo was invited to submit a grant proposal to the Earth Site of GreaterGood.org’s invite-only crowdfunding website. GreaterGood.org is devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet, with an international audience of 30 million people monthly visiting sites dedicated to separate causes.
5/21/2017: Directors Karen and Bob went to the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch to document native milkweed plants. With the help of Linda Kennedy (ranch director) they were successful in finding Antelope horn milkweed (Asclepias asperula) and Wheel milkweed (Asclepias uncialis). http://researchranch.audubon.org/
5/11/2017: Twenty-three energetic, local kindergarteners and their teachers visited the pollinator demonstration garden at the Sierra Vista Community Gardens. When Director Karen asked if any of the children knew what pollen was, one little girl responded “bees use pollen to make honey” – everyone applauded! (Technically, nectar is used by bees to make honey and pollen is used to raise their young, but everyone was impressed with the five year old’s answer.)
May 2017: PoCo submitted a grant proposal to the Arizona Community Foundation requesting funds to develop a native plant pollinator garden in the Hummingbird Garden on the Sierra Vista Public Library grounds.
4/29/2017: A Cochise College Center for Lifelong Learning hummingbird identification workshop taught by Charles Melton was held in PoCo’s Thicket Place demonstration garden. http://www.nearfamous.com/ and https://registration.xenegrade.com/cochise/search.cfm
3/31/2017: Directors Bob and Karen were interviewed for an upcoming book on butterfly gardening to be published by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Director Bob donated several images to be included in the book. http://www.naba.org/
3/9-10/2017: Director Karen attended and staffed a PoCo vendor booth at the annual High on the Desert Gardening Conference sponsored by the Cochise County Master Gardeners. Karen and other PoCo volunteers answered questions about native plants and their pollinators.
3/4/2017: PoCo led a hands-on community workshop on drip irrigation systems and pollinator plants at the Sierra Vista Community Gardens. Rick Weisberg of Oasis Water Harvesting demonstrated passive water collection structures and installed a special rain barrel timer on the water harvesting barrel he previously connected to collect rainwater from the Gardens’ ramada. http://oasisrainwaterharvesting.com/ As workshop attendees dug holes and added milkweed, herb, and native plants to the garden, PoCo Director Karen explained the plant choices and the pollinators they hoped to attract for pollinating the nearby flowering vegetable plants. Signage was added to the garden to inform future visitors about pollinators.
March 2017: In collaboration with Tucson Audubon Society, PoCo distributed and installed Lucy’s Warbler and Azure Bluebird nest boxes on private property near the San Pedro River and in the Huachuca Mountain foothills. To learn more about Tucson Audubon’s bluebird conservation project, see http://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/tucson-audubons-paton-center-for-hummingbirds/azure-bluebird-nest-boxes/ .
February 2017: PoCo and Sierra Vista Community Garden volunteers installed the drip irrigation system in the pollinator demonstration garden. This watering system is operated by a timer and delivers water directly to the garden without evaporation via irrigation “tape” that sits directly on the soil (as opposed to sprinklers). http://www.svcommunitygardens.com/
Jan-Feb 2017: Winter is our quiet time of year for packaging seeds for public distribution, taking training on identifying native plants and habitat restoration, writing native plant and pollinator articles, learning about installing irrigation systems, and developing public presentations.