Paton Center Workdays - the makeover continues

We spent another couple days at the Paton Center working to protect the inner yard with its feeders and lush vegetation, while also beginning to integrate the rest of the property with the surrounding environment and make the whole site a wonderful place for birds, and birders too!

(If you haven't seen it, now would be a great time to read the guest post by volunteer Alice Cave on her experience volunteering at the Paton Center during the time covered by this post.)

We've been getting a ton done there. First and foremost, we've needed to complete the house yard fence and make it javalina proof to protect the back yard, now that the perimeter fencing has come done. We've gotten a new front gate installed to the house thanks to hard work from our neighbor Alex. The new front gate is the hummingbird gate from the fence protecting fountain in the back yard, refinished and sized to perfection. We're calling it the Puerto Colibri.
The Puerto Colibri, pre install, let the measuring begin.
Alex and Keith laying out and working on the Puerto Colibri
Alex digs out the hole for the railroad tie posts
The newly installed Puerto Colibri, anchored in place while
the concrete dries.
Rick and Alice came down and helped out with staining and sealing the new extended wooden fence; it's looking great.

After some hours of kneeling to stain, Alice wised up and brought in some cushy accommodations to finish out the work.
Alice enjoying the cushy work conditions, sun and a nice chair!
Some of the crew and volunteers Terry and John set the foundation and posts for the new information kiosk and then assembled it including re-using the corrugated sheet metal from the old paddock shed as the new roof. The kiosk was designed by local designer/fabricator Doug Thompson. It'll soon develop a fine rusty patina that will look fantastic as a back to the information signage that will be on its way soon.
Terry, Dan, and Andy mixing concrete
Looking pretty level, nice work guys!

The assembled frame concrete in place, waiting for it to dry.
John and Dan putting on the roof.
John and Dan with the assembled and roofed kiosk.
Underside view of the roof - shiny side down.
The completed kiosk, awaiting information.
We've also begun working on the new parking areas. Previously there would be a long line of cars along Blue Heaven Road. With the chain-link fence around the property they were separated out from the Paton's yard. However, now that the perimeter fence is down, cars parked there look out of place. We're consolidating parking near the NE corner of the property on smaller lots separated by water harvesting basins. The water from the parking areas will flow into and feed the water harvesting basins and keep lush hummingbird plants and native grasses and shrubs growing healthy there.
Andy, John, and Dan digging out the water-harvesting basin.
Dirt from the basin going onto the parking area to raise it.
Countless wheelbarrow-fulls of dirt.
And, it looks like parking...or is starting to.
Basin by the front entrance on Blue Heaven, just getting underway.
 Last (for this post), but not least is that the new trail around the meadow area is being roughed in. It'll be lined w/ native bunch-grasses and flowering plants, and lead around to some quiet area and excellent future birding least that's the goal! Right now it's a nascent path through a weedy field.
Andy beside the path he's just cleared.
Kickin' up some dust.
 Come on out and visit! Check out the changes in person and let us know what you think. And, as always, if you're interested in volunteering, contact Jonathan or Keith!


  1. Will the handicap parking area remain close to the gate to the back yard?


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