Sunday, October 24, 2010

Twelve Trees

Kendall Kroesen

Atturbury Wash has twelve new trees. The wash, at Lincoln Regional Park off Escalante Road east of Pantano, is a special place for wildlife. Tucson Audubon is working there, in cooperation with Tucson Parks and Rec and the Groves-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association, to explore ways to maintain and enhance habitat for birds.

Entrance to trail along Atturbury Wash Bird and Animal Sanctuary

On October 8 I introduced ten employees of the Southwest Conservation Corps to Atturbury Wash. We went birding and I told them about the importance of places like that to wildlife. Michael Lyman of the Groves-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association gave them a brief history of neighborhood efforts to save the wash and facilitate enjoyment of the wash by walkers and birders.

Then we planted one of twelve trees that had been donated to Tucson Audubon by The Local Trust. I taught them how we build a small rainwater catchment in which to plant, and then how we inspect and plant the tree itself.

Southwest Conservation Corps members prepare to plant the first tree

That tree served as a model the following day, Saturday October 9, when eighteen volunteers arrived to plant the rest of the trees. This was a volunteer day supported by TogetherGreen, a program of National Audubon funded by Toyota. The volunteers did a great job! City Council Member Shirley Scott paid a visit, and the event was covered by a photographer from the Arizona Daily Star (see story). For other photographs, go to this page.

Six employees of the neighborhood's extremely successful youth employment program were also there to help with the work. They pick up trash, maintain the trail system, and water plants--like these trees--that are planted to augment habitat along the wash.

These trees were planted not just to improve habitat in a place where drought and hydrological problems have caused a die-off of vegetation. The Local Trust donated these trees as a carbon sink. The Trust accepts donations from people who want to offset their carbon emissions. Perhaps a person takes a flight or a long road trip and wants to make up for the carbon they put in the air. They make a donation to The Local Trust and it is used to take an equivalent amount of carbon back out of the atmosphere. This has been done, so far, by installing solar water heaters on Habitat for Humanity homes, or by providing trees to Tucson Audubon. The trees sequester carbon as they grow.

Creating partnerships is a critical way Tucson Audubon multiplies its efforts and gets things done to safeguard the environment. For this project we are grateful for the cooperation and support of Tucson Parks and Rec, City Council Member Shirley Scott, the Groves-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association, The Local Trust and The Southwest Conservation Corps.

Other TogetherGreen volunteer days will be held at the following locations and times. Go to the Tucson Audubon event calendar for more details. Contact me to sign up, at kkroesen@tucsonaudubon.org or 520-971-2385.

Saturday, November 13
Fountain Grass Removal at Esperero Canyon

Saturday, December 4
Cleanup at Robb Wash

Saturday, December 11
Cleanup and Buffelgrass Pull at Ironwood Forest National Monument

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