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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Piedra Lisa Canyon, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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Piedra Lisa Canyon, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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nifong047



Registered: February 2007
Posts: 1
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Living in a society that continuously hurts and pillages the Earth, we often become calloused about environmental issues like litter and destroying wilderness areas. My name is Zacchaeus, and as a child I was never taught to respect the land and cherish open spaces or wilderness areas. Time passed, and I began to see the importance of conserving our wild lands, so that our children's children could enjoy the same beauty we do today. In an effort to help our wonderful planet and play a small role in conservation, I decided to pursue the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative. When choosing an area to clean up, I looked for clues or direct remarks on the NWP (Nicodemus Wilderness Project) website about specific areas that needed assistance. The Piedra Lisa Open Space Wilderness appeared to be a worthy cause. The plan was made, doubts were addressed, and my laziness was kept in check by my undying love for the outdoors. In addition to myself, I was accompanied by a classmate - Alfredo - that wished to volunteer his time as well. Alfredo and I are 25 years old and attend the University of Phoenix in Albuquerque, NM.


The sun rose over the beautiful Sandia Mountains around 6:30am on the morning of October 17, 2005. We arrived at the proposed site at 8:30am. The air was a brilliant, crisp-cold, that entered my lungs and chilled them with each breath we took. There were few clouds in the sky and although the day began cold, we knew by mid-afternoon it was going to be very warm. We unloaded our gear consisting of backpacks, a notepad, water, a digital camera, some food, and the ever-important trash bags. It was a wonderful day to volunteer.


We entered the Open Space through the gate located on the east side of the parking lot. Our project had begun. We hiked (off the trail) into the canyon for about 15 or 20 minutes looking for trash to no avail. We then realized that most of the trash will most likely be near the parking lot and along the section of space that hugs the road. Nearing the parking lot, we started to see lots of litter. At first, the trash was hard to spot - most likely because of it's consistency in our daily lives - but as our eyes adjusted we located more litter. We spread out like a group of investigators looking for a dead body in the forest. Alfredo would find trash then call me over to take a picture and visa versa. We felt like little kids on an Easter egg hunt! Each piece of litter we picked up, we knew it was the right thing to do. Browsing the space parallel to the road and the hills north of the parking lot, we found lots of debris. After reaching the northern border of Piedra Lisa, we turned west and went outside the fence to pick up trash along the road while we hiked back to the vehicle. Most of the trash we found was at that point. We concluded that human beings rarely step outside of the borders in their mind, preventing them to accomplish great things in life, and truly make a difference in our fragile world. The hike concluded at the parking lot as we examined our bags like a scientist would examine his specimens.


Alfredo and I wanted to take volunteering to the next level, so we recycled all the trash we collected at our local recycling center. Mission complete! We began at 8:30 am and concluded at 11:00 am. Reflecting on the project, we felt an overwhelming sense of joy and success. Volunteering for the Nicodemus Wilderness Project is a great way to help the environment and get some great exercise as well. With dedication and persistence, Alfredo and I believe that our precious land can be preserved. Thank you so much for your wonderful organization, without you, the world would be a lost cause.
Date: March 14, 2007 Views: 8629 File size: 27.9kb, 315.8kb : 1500 x 1125
Hours Volunteered: 10
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 20
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 1
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 25
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