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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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Registered: January 2009
Posts: 1
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Beauty in Progress
When I arrived to our field trip to the Rio Grande Bosque (small forest along the Rio Grande river) I was not very excited. Everyone in my class wasn’t expecting this trip to be a great time and experience. But soon it would change all of our minds and be blown away from all the beauty and work everyone has put in and is going to put in to planting these New Mexican Olive trees.
Our river and Bosque was once a beautiful sight that even artists would compose songs about it! But since the fire that took place in 2004 our Bosque is not what composers used to write about. Now our Bosque is all burnt, trashy, and has become low on our state animals like our Silvery Minnow (state fish). But, my class was taking a field trip to help out our Bosque and river, which hasn’t flooded in over 60 years. That’s the major reason why we have had fires and have less trees: because no water reaches far enough for our trees who used to get water when the river flooded. Now those trees are drying up and are easily caught on fire. But that’s why we are there to help fix OUR mistakes.
Once we started planting the trees my partner Edsel (my boyfriend) and I started getting excited and got into planting the trees. But, there was one problem. I had to learn how to use a shovel. The first shovels of dirt were hard to take out. Very little dirt would come out with the shovel. I think I kicked in more dirt than I shoveled out.
The first couple of trees we planted on our field trip were difficult to plant. We had to dig up a whole that was about the same depth and width of the roots and soil of the tree. I liked pulling out the tree from its pot, but I didn’t like holding the heavy little tree in place while he filled the hungry hole with dirt and soil.
After each tree we planted I gave it a kiss hoping some day it will become old and be a grandmother surrounded with young trees building new generations.
After each tree we planted I became sweaty. The sun was burning us as if we were being magnified, like we were tiny army ants trying to accomplish our goal in our Rio Grande Bosque colony. It was a tough job for our class of eleven kids to plant fifty young trees, but we accomplished it.
After planting all of the trees, I felt proud that I helped our environment. As we took our break from planting the trees, Edsel and I drank from our Nalgene Water Bottles as if we have never tasted water before.
As we started walking for our tour around the Bosque and see the river, I thought that the Bosque was a beauty in progress. I felt excited to finally see the Bosque with my own eyes, other than hearing “breaking news! Our Bosque has caught on fire due to fire works!” all of the time, I was finally able to experience it myself.
I looked at the sky and saw a Cooper-hawk’s nest and heard baby hawks chirping. Gliding in the sky, hungry for prey was their mother. She was out “shopping” for baby food as any mother would. It was a beautiful sight to see.
As we kept walking I saw that the closer we got to the river of wonders, the greener the plants were. I thought it was a happy feeling but I wish the river would flood so all the trees and plants would be green and all animals would have habitats. I also learned that most of the trees that are found in the Bosque ‘generate’ differently. Cotton seeds have to stay moist in water for about two weeks before hitting land to start to grow.
Its like we are working for mother- nature instead of “her” working for “herself”. We are the ones who took over mother-nature in the first place. The jetty jacks, the dam, and canals are what is keeping the river from flooding. We built those things and now we are regretting it. Also all the trash we are throwing on our river is affecting the pollution of the river. We can all fix these problems so our river and Bosque will be once again beautiful. But for now it will stay as our “Beauty in Progress”.
· Date: January 4, 2009 · Views: 4644 · File size: 17.9kb, 63.6kb · : 688 x 517 ·
Hours Volunteered: 24
Volunteers: 8
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 17
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 0.5
Native Trees Planted: 50
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