The Frontera Land Alliance Board of Directors and staff celebrated 13 years of service by Charlie Wakeem and 9 years of service by John Moses as Frontera Board members at our 2019 year-end board meeting. Everyone will have a chance to say thank you, in person, to both these gentlemen as Frontera celebrates its 16th anniversary at our 2020 open house on Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 2 to 4 p.m.; the invite will be in the mail next month, but be sure to save the date right now!
We are very excited to share that our website now contains an education and volunteer page. Check it out here:
Also if you are part of a group that wants to request a guided hike or to volunteer, just fill out the form and we will be in touch!
El Paso Giving Day was a great success for Frontera; we passed the goal we set to raise funds through this event. One major donor was turned away from the Walmart match, but we are so grateful that another foundation stepped up to ensure that our programs have the financial support they need.
As always it has been great fun to share the work of Frontera with others. Frontera Board President Scott Cutler made a presentation to the Lions Club about our expanding outreach program. And Frontera Board member (and former President) Mike Gaglio spoke to a brokers association about Frontera’s conservation programs. In addition, Frontera heard Nuria Garcia (an intern with the Diana Natalicio Environmental Internship Program) share her experience as a Frontera summer volunteer at a meeting with Dr. Natalicio.
On the afternoon of Friday the 15th, Frontera sponsored attorneys David Braun and Kathryn Tancig (of the Austin area’s Braun and Gresham law firm) in the presentation they made to City of El Paso staffers (including the City’s Legal Department) who wished to learn more about conservation easements. Then the following day the public was invited to learn how to conserve any natural open lands, farms and ranches that it owned. We were pleased that this event was partially funded with a grant by the Land Trust Alliance. We are grateful that Keller Williams Realty were our hosts; it was a great venue as we could see the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve—and most of West Side—from the 11th floor of El Paso’s famous Coronado Tower.
We continue to seek funding for a rainwater harvesting project at the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve to improve wildlife habitat and reduce erosion, for securing conservation easements on private and public lands, and to expand our education and volunteer program. If you have not yet given, please do so soon, as it helps Frontera with our planning for 2020.
This month Frontera was a sponsor of the Chihuahuan Desert Conference at the El Paso Zoo. The conference covered topics from research on the wildlife of the Chihuahuan Desert to the advantages of education and conservation. In addition our Executive Director Janaé Reneaud Field was selected to make a presentation. In mid-November our Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Maryflor Garcia, was able to attend a variety of trainings. The Creosote Collaborative hosted a workshop about rainwater harvesting. It covered the components of bioswales, holding capacity designs, and plant selection. These topics come into play as we seek further information on how nature’s rules can make our lives easier and how we can implement such lessons at the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve.
And there’s more! Frontera was at the 2019 Mesita Carrere Day. The students used magnifying glasses donated by Pencil Cup Office Products Company. We shared information about being biologists in our desert lands; we had a lot of questions about tarantulas! In addition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosted an Angler Education Instructor Workshop for people interested in teaching others how to fish. This training shows yet another way to connect to open spaces and demonstrates the need for free water flow. Make sure you keep an eye out next year for our first-ever family fishing event! In addition, Insights hosted a Trail Construction and Design Workshop in which they introduced the first steps of designing new trails in a sustainable way, and gave people the hands-on opportunity to help design and start a trail.
Before Thanksgiving week, we participated in guided tours of the Keystone Heritage Park to 111 seventh graders from the Young Women’s STEAM Preparatory Academy. Frontera led the students in learning how to identify common desert plants and how the plants adapt to desert conditions. To end the great month of November, we were able to participate in the annual Big Bosque Bird Bash! Many people from the community stopped by our booth and took a closer look at some of our local insects and mammals before going on a tour of the Lower Valley’s Rio Bosque Wetlands Park.
A few informative articles:
1. Recent article on conservation-easement incentive tax enforcement by the IRS:
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