Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Paton workday update: Just before Thanksgiving

By Jonathan Horst, Restoration Ecologist

The week before Thanksgiving the crew was back at it at the Paton Center with more work around the property.

We began creating the trail around the paddock, turning it into a meadow. The trail will be a short loop trail primarily around the perimeter with good views of a healthy mulberry tree, a nice grove of locusts, and some large old mesquites. Lots of plans for the future, but i won’t spill the beans on all that just yet.

Volunteer Logan and Matt Griffiths planning where the trail should lie.
Volunteer planting a purple 3-awn grass at the gate signaling the start of the loop trail.
Andy Bennett transplants native bunchgrasses along the trail
Still in process – but progress
Ok, now that looks like a trail! And, it’s bordered on either side with transplanted bunchgrasses saved from the new parking area.

At the back corner of the meadow loop trail our crew and awesome volunteers began prepping and installing some memorial benches.

Lots of work to get it right, but pads for the benches installed! The demo bench will be replaced by some AMAZING benches being restored by some amazing volunteers (you’ll have to wait for next post to see them).

There’s also an amazing little mulberry tree – little for now, it’s gonna grow fast. The main part of the trunk was dying so we had to cut it off, now all those resources go to the new trunk! And the stump becomes the base of the water feature. The water is designed to spill some water over, keeping it fresh, which will water some lush hummingbird plants. First step dig in the tiered basins.

Andy Bennett roughs in the tiered basins.
Completed basins.

Of course there are a ton of other tasks too. We also took down the rest of the fencing from the old fountain area. The fencing will be reused for future gates in the javelina-proof fencing. Reuse first, recycle the rest.

Volunteer Chris Strohm busts the concrete footer away from the fence posts with his impact hammer.
Volunteer John Hughes wipes the protective oils off the new information kiosk.

Volunteer Terry Weimouth power washes and scrubs down the cover of the shaded seating area in the back yard. Looks like new!

Oh, and let’s not forget that we got basins dug to harvest water from more of the new parking areas…


Basins.
Basins and plants!

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