Thank you to El Paso Water Utilities for disposing of all the trash that UTEP’s Project Move collected from Resler Canyon! It was a great success; we had about 15 volunteers who collected lots of trash that people had thrown in the nature preserve or that had just blown in on its own. Also at Resler Canyon we hired Paso del Norte Surveying, Inc. to thoroughly demarcate the boundariesof the Canyon. We will use this survey to let us know if the trash that is being thrown over folks’ back walls is falling onto the nature preserve (i.e., the land that we own) or whether it’s landing on someone else’s property. In addition, the survey will assist Frontera in addressing erosion and invasive plant removal.
A New MonthlyProgram: Frontera Preservation Mixer at the Ode!All are welcome to join Frontera for our first gathering, Friday March 31, at Ode, for a Happy Hour that starts at 4 p.m. Come enjoy great company with like minds who love our region’s natural world. Make new friends, enjoy great food and drink, and learn how to become active in making our community better! (Mark your calendars: March 31, April 28, May 26, June 30, July 28, etc…)
New Program: Bee Biodiversity Initiative:On March 14, Frontera hosted a meeting for potential partners to learn more about the Bee Biodiversity Initiative of the Southwest. Bashira Chowdhury and Dr. Charles Ray (Auburn University) shared details about their efforts and desire for collaboration on the study of native bees, but this multi-year study is much more than that. These scientists are starting out their sampling at Resler Canyon, so if you see them on the ground out there then please shout out a big “Hi!”
Goals of the Bee Biodiversity Initiative: 1. Understand bee abundance and diversity in the El Paso region: the Chihuahuan Desert is a diversity hotspot for bees (potentially the most diverse area for bees in North America). Goal is to learn more about this diversity and improve land-use decisions to preserve it.
2. Preserve and promote bio-cultural heritage of pollination: There is an incredibly rich agricultural heritage in the Chihuahuan Desert with our squash, bean, and pepper diversity all due to sustainable plant-pollinator management by indigenous cultures. The investigators will document this heritage and work with local partners to preserve this diversity along with the ecological connections to many of these wild crop pollination systems. The research goes beyond food crops; we are looking at fiber and medicinal crop progenitors as well.
3. Urban pollination: Urban environments offer unique places to understand pollinator nesting and foraging habits, and because of the way that land is used in urban areas, cities may offer refuges for rare bees. We want to understand El Paso’s bee diversity as well as how we can coordinate with local land owners on the best way to manage city lands for bees.
4. Next Steps: The team from Auburn University will return to El Paso in May. We’ll let you know the details about the presentation they will give to the public, where you can learn about our native bees, how to attract them to your home and much more.
A New Program: Photograph Nature with Frontera! The first Frontera Photo Hike will be held Saturday, April 1st, at Poppies Fest. The 30-minute photo walks will start at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The photo walks are open to all ages where you will be able to explore nature through a lens! The photo hikes will be led by Brenda Berumen. Space is limited to 10 people per hike, so please RSVP to janae@Fronteralandalliance.org or sign up at Poppies Fest. We will meet at the Frontera Booth at Poppies Fest. These photo walks will take place every six weeks.
1. Poppies Fest, April 1, at Archeology Museum, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, please park at Cohen Stadium’s Lot 1 for the free shuttle ride. (There is no parking at the museum.)
2. City of El Paso Earth Day, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7969 San Paulo.
3. Native Bee Presentation, May ___. (Time and Place TBD.)
Work Days: 1. Help restore and manage the Keystone wetland! These “Keystone Work Days” will be held the last Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon. Frontera assists in the works days by providing tools, but more importantly Resler Canyon flows into Keystone, it is important that we manage both sites. Meet at the Keystone Park (Kappa Rd. and Doniphan Dr.). To RSVP or for questions contact Mike Gaglio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Dr. Amy Wagler
UTEP and Frontera: Here is another great story about Dr. Amy Wagler and her work with Frontera: