Dirt from the Field-March 2012

-March has been the month of learning, service, and the first signs of spring in Watson Woods.  Although our winter hasn’t produced precipitation like we had initially hoped, the warm weather has allowed us to have various groups of school children out at the Preserve, and we are still making great progress giving firewood out to the community.

-As for the kids, we recently had the 4th and 5th grade class from Mingus Springs Charter School out at Watson Woods.  Ann-Marie and I enjoyed teaching this “energetic” group about the importance of wetlands and riparian systems, highlighting topics such as erosion, reptiles and birds, littering, and water pollution.  We also had a group of 7th/8th graders from Skyview School that were studying watershed health through a Highlands Center Educational Program.  After a quick intro, some of the students helped me survey groundwater levels beneath the Preserve with one of our monitoring wells-many students were surprised to discover there was water just 8 feet below the surface of the ground!  All in all, teaching young children is exciting; especially when you know they learn something new and enjoy the experience.

-As for the firewood, we have now donated over 30 cords of wood to the community!  Special thanks to the Vista/Serve Yavapai Group we had this past Monday (March 12), who in just 1 hour moved and stacked 10 cords of wood-What an amazing feat!  That’s 40 cords of “fuel” that has been removed from Watson Woods, which will burn much better in someone’s stove as opposed to another contributing to another forest fire.  BUT, we still more to move out, so please contact us to volunteer or if you know of someone in need.  I realize spring is right around the corner, but so is forest fire season, and it is always good to have firewood reserves for next year.  Again, our volunteers help make all this possible, so thanks again to all who have helped!

–Finally, spring is almost officially here!  Many of the cottonwoods and willows are beginning to flower, and new birds are arriving almost every day.  I am predicting that within a month or so, there will be several new shades of green in Watson Woods, so please feel free to stop by and take a nice, leisurely walk and enjoy the sights.  If you can’t make it out, be on the lookout for a new photo page in the next couple of weeks, as I will try to capture the transition.


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