As all of us know, this March has been a whirlwind of uncertainties. But the one thing we still have going for us is our great outdoors. Rain, wind, sun and clouds continue to do their thing even though our daily schedules have changed drastically. We know we’re not supposed to gather in groups of more than ten, and that we must stay six feet away from each other, but the wonderful thing is we can still go outside and interact with Mother Nature. This interaction will be the key as we all slow down and take a deep breath to stay mentally and physically healthy.
The Mexican Golden Poppies on the northeast side of the Franklin Mountains and especially in Castner Range were absolutely beautiful this year. I moved to El Paso in 2011 and I’ve never seen them blanket the hillsides with such mass and beauty as they are doing right now. So please head out to East Transmountain Road and the Archaeology Museum and hike around a bit if you haven’t done so already.
Frontera is proud to announce that we’re now at platinum level on the GuideStar site. GuideStar is where you can find the most complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available. GuideStar’s Nonprofit Profiles provide you with the information you need to make smart decisions, build connections, and learn from each other to achieve your goals. If you are looking to learn more about Frontera or another favorite non-profit, be sure to check out their website.
During the first week of March we held our first Soil and Erosion workshop at Cathedral High School. The students learned how soil erosion happens and how we can prevent it. They were able to conduct an experiment recording how water moves soil that is uncovered versus soil that is covered with plant litter. We then were pleased to have Cub Scout Pack 72 assist us in collecting creosote, four-winged saltbush, and desert willow seeds at our Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve (Resler Canyon).
In mid-March, we partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the El Paso Audubon Society, and the UTEP Centennial Museum, to host a City Nature Challenge and iNaturalist Workshop. People learned how to use the iNaturalist app and how to take part in the City Nature Challenge, which this year is scheduled for April 24-27. In addition, our staff—Janaé Reneaud Field and Maryflor García, with Frontera’s President Scott Cutler and Vice-President Cindy Hoffmann—were guest speakers on the El Paso History Show (KTSM AM 690). We talked about Frontera’s mission, what we are currently working on, and all about our upcoming events. We were excited to host our first Knapp Land Family Walk, on the 350-acre Northeast mountain property the City purchased last year (and on which it’s now interacting with Frontera to negotiate a conservation easement). People enjoyed learning about the flora in the area and got to see all the poppies that were growing on Castner Range and the lower slopes of the Franklins. As spring break started, a group of volunteers helped us pull weeds and make new garden beds at the Growing with Sara Farm in Socorro, Texas. And what with COVID-19 and all, our volunteers were happy to be taking in a whole lot of fresh air outdoors.
Meanwhile, and looking forward to the future, we were granted funds by the Land Trust Alliance to implement an estate-giving education program. This fall we will see new materials on this topic and we’ll be invited to give a general overview of how you can leave a lasting gift to Frontera. Expect more details soon!
If you shop with Amazon, don’t forget to use AmazonSmile so that each time you shop you can help Frontera conserve water, wildlife and working lands as well as natural open areas. It is a very simple program to participate in, and it will not cost you a dime. Amazon will donate part of their profit on that purchase to Frontera.
A donation to The Frontera Land Alliance will help
preserve natural spaces for future generations