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Dirt From the Field – April 2011

April! I am so ready for warm weather. Not that it has anything to do with Watson Woods Preserve, but on Saturday (April 2), Kris (my wife and our office manager) and I took a ride on our motorcycle out to Skull Valley for lunch and scenery. It was the first time in about two months that our bike even had been started! It was a great way to spend a spring afternoon.

So, in the Woods some interesting things have been happening.  Last month I told you about all the metallic (and wood and plastic and glass) debris that has been removed from the Preserve by various volunteer groups. We put it all in a pile (a really big pile) in anticipation of this year’s Granite Creek Cleanup “One Man’s Treasure” event (Check out the “events” section of the website).  Well, this morning (April 5) local artists came out to the woods to look over the pile (did I mention it was big?) and pick out material for their art projects.  Several trucks, a van and a flatbed trailer all left FULL of what is now junk but will be art. If you are an artist, don’t feel left out.  There’s lots more stuff left and the Cleanup will generate even more. However, if you can’t wait, contact the office if you’d like to go out to the Preserve in the next couple of weeks to get a head start on your project by taking some “future art” home.

In last month’s post, I told you about the job that YEI has been doing topping all the plantings from last year.  Well, they finished!  We’re talking about nearly 1,000 trees!  They are so dependable and hard-working.  We’re going to move on to dealing with the piles of trimmings from last fall’s harvest and other small woody debris throughout the preserve.  Anyone who wants to experience working with YEI is welcome to join us on Wednesday afternoons.  Just give me a call or an email to set it up.

Spring is the time to get the irrigation system running and that means a volunteer opportunity.  We supply supplemental water to about half of our new plantings as an insurance policy.  It’s long, hard, expensive work to plant several thousand new trees and shrubs and it’s worth the extra effort to install and monitor an irrigation system to help make sure we get a return on our investment.  If you would like to get to know the Watson Woods Preserve in a close up way and spend some quiet, easy hike time on a weekly basis monitoring the irrigation system let me know.

Rambling River has been mentioned in several of my posts and there’s a chance for you to see it in action next Saturday (April 16) at Willow Lake Park.  The Audubon Society is holding an all-day event to dedicate the Watson Willow Lakes Ecosystem IBA.  There’ll be lots of activities including two Rambling River shows.  As always, check the website!


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