Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Friends of Big Bend National Park doing great work!

Back on National Public Lands Day, we were happy to take part in the Friends of Big Bend National Park's work projects down by Rio Grande Village.  Our task involved clearing disturbed land--an old agricultural area--so a more natural habitat could be reestablished.
Park Biologist Raymond Skiles explains the work ahead
Friends of Big Bend National Park work on clearing land
and getting rid of unwanted vegetation
From the Friends of Big Bend National Park:

"This project will restore Rio Grande riparian bird habitat to a five-acre disturbed site near the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. Agricultural-era earthen berms constructed prior to park establishment that alter natural surface and ground water conditions will be removed, natural soil contours will be reestablished, and native riparian vegetation, including cottonwoods and willows will be established on the five-acre site. Riparian bird species native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico will find valuable habitat at the site following restoration. The site is adjacent to the popular Rio Grande Village campground, thus birdwatchers will find the site particularly valuable and accessible. Additionally, restoration of hydrologic conditions benefits the federally endangered Big Bend mosquitofish by restoring natural surface and groundwater dynamics to the site, which is just upstream of wetlands containing the fish. "

Scientists were on hand to show
work day participants the tiny Big Bend
It was a terrific day with terrific people, and it felt great to help the park.  The Friends of Big Bend National Park welcomes new members...please consider joining.  And next year, do yourself a favor and volunteer on National Public Lands Day for more (muddy) fun!

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