Schools are letting out, it’s finally getting hot, and I am sure you are thinking about upcoming vacations. If you are staying in town we hope to see you out and about at all of our walks and talks. See below for more details. And now for some really big news:
Texans to Vote in November on Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing Revenues for State and Local Parks
The constitutional dedication of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax (SGST) is in its final step. The SGST was designed to create a steady stream of funding for our state and local parks. However, from 1993 to 2017, the state has collected nearly $2.5 billion in revenues from the SGST, but only 40 percent has ended up being appropriated for parks. If it is passed, this constitutional amendment will permanently guarantee that all revenues generated from the SGST are dedicated to supporting state and local parks. This will ensure consistency in funding for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission. State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) recently signed the motion to concur with House changes to Senate Bill 26 and Senate Joint Resolution 24. The Joint Resolution will now be sent to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office for placement on the November ballot, and SB26 (which enables the placement) will be sent to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature.
So be on the lookout for this parks-friendly amendment on the ballot you cast in November!
Meanwhile, May was a very busy month! Frontera, Castner Heights Neighborhood Association and Conservation Lands Foundation (of Durango, CO and Washington DC) hosted a Castner Range celebration in the Northeast at the KaBoom Party Hall. It was a whole lot of fun, U.S. Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and District 4 City Representative Sam Morgan spoke, and a well-deserved thank you goes out to everyone who brought Castner Range to the national spotlight!
Also this month Frontera and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition led walks and talks at the City of El Paso Archeology Museum for over 200 freshmen from Coronado High School. This year’s guest speakers were Diana Moy with the Wyler Tram/TPWD, Scott Rhiner with EPWU, and Erica Rocha with G128 Texas Care. We had a group of experts that shared their expertise and enthusiasm with the students. The students saw a horned lizard, several snakes and a prickly poppy plant, and tasted petals from a soap yucca.
Even though the day was quite windy, Frontera was present at the City of El Paso “Kids to Parks” event where we shared interesting facts about insects and birds.
The group of 500 Women Scientists and Frontera led a science-based hike to look at the flora of Frontera’s Resler Canyon at the end of May.
The trip to the Aden Crater or Aden Lava Flow Wilderness Area was a huge success with over 40 participants. Everyone loved seeing the volcano, especially because it’s so close to El Paso!
At the end of the month, Frontera sponsored a volunteer day at an organic farm in Socorro, Texas. We had a great group of volunteers that helped prepare the soil for the growing season, picked weeds and learned about farming.
Finally, The El Paso Electric Company volunteered at the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve of Resler Canyon to improve an existing hiking trail from Cadiz to Alto Mesa. This trail has been around over 30 years, long before Frontera bought the property in late 2005. It is used by many ranging from hikers from all over town to folks who live in the Coronado Hills neighborhood and the Coronado Townhouses. Thanks to our volunteers the trail is now in really great shape. Go to the Canyon and check it on out!
On June 14, Frontera is co-hosting—with the Southern New Mexico Community Foundation and OM-DP Friends Group—“Your Land and Your Legacy: Workshops for Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Landowners and the Professionals Who Advise Them” from 8-4:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces. (4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011). You will learn how estate planning and a conservation easement can help you or your clients conserve their lands in perpetuity while still keeping ownership. Attorney David Braun will be our special expert guest. You really do not want to miss this! Register here:
Astronomy Viewing and Discussion! This event will be held on Thursday, July 18 at 9:30 p.m. at the Museum of Archeology. To RSVP contact: Maryflor@Fronteralandalliance.org
Are you an expert in birding or do you want to practice identifying birds? If so we would love your help! Frontera is partnering with Friends of the Rio Bosque, El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society and Franklin Mountains State Park to conduct bird inventories and transects at 3 locations starting in June. If interested please contact Janae@fronteralandalliance.org
If you shop with Amazon, don’t forget to use AmazonSmileso each time you shop you are helping Frontera to conserve water, wildlife and working lands as well as natural open areas. It is very simple to participate in, and it will not cost you a dime.
A donation to The Frontera Land Alliance will help
preserve natural spaces for future generations