Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

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Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
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Registered: December 2020
City/Town/Province: Corpus Christi
Posts: 1
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Ecology is the study of organism relationships. It covers both their relationships with each other and with their physical environment. When I was brainstorming a project, this definition kept nagging at me. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was missing something. It wasn't until I saw a Ring-necked Dove perched on the mesquite tree in my backyard that the perfect idea finally occurred to me.

I live in Corpus Christi, TX, rightly dubbed the "birdiest city" in the United States. We have many native species of our own, as well as migratory bird species that use Corpus Christi as a stop on their long journey south into Mexico. These species include Sandhill Cranes, Redhead Ducks, Whooping Cranes, Black Skimmers, Painted Buntings, White-tailed Hawks, and more. These birds sometimes rest here along their journey, and sometimes they stay to nest and raise their young. Watching the Ring-necked Dove reminded me about the ecological need for habitats. With this knowledge, I finally designed my multi-faceted Apprentice Ecologist project.

I planted trees around the house, most native and all well-adjusted to the sandy soil and persistent sun of coastal south Texas. Trees are very important to our environment, as they churn out more oxygen and detract carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. All of my selected tree species have long branches and thick foliage to provide shade to the house and thus conserve energy, as well as to provide many spaces for the birds to utilize. In the fruit trees by my house, there are often possums that stop by and raise their young. They eat the aromatic oranges and grapefruit that are too bitter for us to consume, and also keep snakes out of the yard. I decided to also plant more citrus plants for those organisms to use, as well as us humans. The trees are watered daily, and I fully expect them to thrive like the trees my father planted 10 years ago.

This project is very close to my heart because it is one that I will get to continue to watch develop and take shape in the years to come. I am a military child, and usually I have to relocate and move every three to four years. But, my parent is reaching closer to retirement, so it is very likely that we will get to stay here, and I will get to watch this first permanent mark of mine grow and flourish.

I love this place. The ocean water is beautiful and teeming with life, and the land and air reflect that biodiverse beauty. Now I get to contribute to the beauty of this area, as well as involve my family.

My baby brother really loves watching the tiny trees grow their small buds and infant fruit, and is so excited to see them grow taller and taller. My dad is very involved in this project, too, helping me with his expertise and heavy lifting skills. My siblings even helped me hold a lemonade stand at the end of the street to raise money to purchase more trees for our yard. This is truly a group effort, and I'm very excited to see how this project benefits the area, as well as brings my family closer together.

The trees have now acclimated to the soil for nearly a year. In this year full of fear and uncertainty, they've grown into something truly beautiful, and I'm grateful for this scholarship project and all that it has taught me.

Thank you for your consideration, and happy new year!
Date: December 31, 2020 Views: 2847 File size: 25.1kb, 6442.4kb : 4160 x 3120
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 7
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 8 to 50
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