CITIZEN SCIENTISTS TAKE ON INVASIVES!
The arrival of spring brings renewed energy to get out in nature and volunteer in our area parks and wild spaces. This year, area Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Scouts, and other citizen scientists are off to a running start in the battle against invasive species. In a workshop through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s “Invaders of Texas” program 55 volunteers learned about the nature of invasive species and what the most common invasive plants are in the north Texas area. They looked at resources on the “Invaders” database (www.texasinvasives.org) to help recognize and record species, and discussed techniques for eradication. Then it was time to get into the fields and take action.
On Saturday, April 19, twelve “Invader” volunteers descended the hill on Bluebonnet Trail at Cedar Ridge Preserve and attacked invasive privet and nandina. Every plant that is eradicated is a plant what won’t spread, won’t disperse seed…and an opening in the environment where, hopefully, a beneficial native plant can have a chance to grow. One by one, plant by plant, we CAN make a stand to control invasive species! For more information on future invasive species trainings and activities, please contact Dana Wilson, email@example.com.
FORTY ONE GLADIATORS ON A MISSION!
Kevin Malonson brought a team of students from A. Maceo Smith High School in Dallas to Cedar Ridge Preserve, gladiators in their yellow school bus chariot, Saturday, March 8, 2014 at precisely 10 AM. By noon they had accomplished the impossible not once, but twice. Their mission was to clear debris from a site that Girl Scouts will soon use for camping. Nail-infested wood waste had piled over the years along with various sorts of dangerous materials probably and provided a nice habitat for the many snakes who call CRP home.
Preserve Manager Robert Rinker arranged for delivery and placement of a large 20-yard dumpster near the waste pile. Rose Mercer met the students and instructed half of them to hit the trails running, and the other half to load debris into the dumpster. Within 15 minutes the 6 foot pile started to vanish and the dumpster overflowed. Land Manager Mingo to the rescue! He re-instructed the crew to begin removing the dumpster contents for orderly placement utilizing volume more appropriately. Volunteer regular Thomas Templeton worked to loosen the chain securing the back gate. The first work crew reversed all their hard work and unloaded the dumpster.
The second work crew returned from their adventure on the trails and, except for some dedicated members from the first work crew, namely superstar Carolina, orderly reloaded the dumpster filling it to the brim. One woodchip to the eye and many scrapes and scratches later, these gladiator students accomplished a lot in those two hours. Just imagine what they can do after they throw their high school graduation caps into the air!
Kevin Malonson serves as the Assistant Director of the local chapter of Education is Freedom, a non-profit "dedicated to providing comprehensive college planning services and producing life changing results for students and families." He encourages and organizes regular volunteer activities with these students all through their high school career, and intends to help them find their way to college.
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CONSERVATION IN ACTION!
Third Saturday of each Month
Habitat Restoration and Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve is on the Third Saturday of every month throughout the year, rain or shine. Volunteers remove non-native plants, restore trails, and work in the butterfly garden. Repairing trails reduces erosion trouble spots and removing non-native plants clears crowded trail edges. We provide snacks, water, pruning shears, shovels, and work gloves. All you need to bring is sun screen and bug repellent. Questions? Contact info_CRP@yahoo.com.
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75249 (972-709-7784)
At an elevation of 755 feet, Cedar Ridge Preserve (formerly the Dallas Nature Center) is a slice of the hill country just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas. Cedar Ridge Preserve is a natural habitat of 600 acres featuring about 9 miles of trails, native trees, grasses and wildflowers, butterfly gardens, limited picnic areas and wild mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. CRP has been managed by Audubon Dallas since April 2003 by charter from the Dallas County Park & Open Space Program and the City of Dallas. To view the General Rules and Regulations from the Dallas County Park and Open Space Program, click here.
Please be aware that wheeled vehicles of ALL types, including bicycles, are prohibited on the trails. NOTE: CRP cannot accommodate large groups because there are not a lot of seating, tables, or other picnic equipment.
POSSUMHAW TRAIL GUIDE
For questions about educational programming, scheduling a visit by a school group, or planning a Scout project, call 972-709-7784.
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