Rio Salado Audubon Center
On October 21st, I, along with 8 other members of SNHS, did manual conservation work at a butterfly habitat at Rio Salado Audubon Center. I planted several, Asclepias erosa, or what is coined “desert milkweed plants”, for migrating monarch butterflies to feed on and host in. Other members also planted Calliandra eriophylla, or what is commonly called “fairy dusters”, for these butterflies to feed on. Along with conserving the environment for the survival in monarchs, we also removed invasive species of plants (i.e. bull weeds) from nearby plants.
Community Outreach Project
I attended the Phoenix Audubon Center trip. We went to the Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix. While we were there, we were split into groups with several other volunteers and asked to plant Milkweed and Fairy Duster plants. These plants are among the only plants utilized by the monarch butterfly. Interestingly, the Rio Salado lays right in the migration path of the monarch butterfly, making it a very important breeding ground. It was pretty manual work, but it was cool to see the sizes of the rocks we dug up and the way groups of strangers could come together to so something good for our environment. We were also asked to go down into the riverbed and dig up an invasive grass. That part was crazy! We had to dig up the root balls that had grown around river rocks and entangled themselves in the roots of other plants. The grass itself grew so thick and so tall we had the hardest time seeing the bases of the grass clusters. It was pretty fun to peel back the plants and throw my body weight onto them to keep them out of the way. The ground under the grasses was cool, too; the dirt filled with slender roots peeled away in layers. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the project. I loved the team I worked with and the way I felt when it was all said and done. It is definitely something I would do again.
The project I participated in was volunteering to pick up debris in the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Center with other members of Science National Honors Society. I helped the community by picking up many pieces of trash and cleaning up big portions of wreckage that was washed onto the dried up river. I chose to do this because I enjoy making a small difference in the world and helping to make it a better place. After completing my part, I felt very accomplished because I helped make a change that was significant to the community and worked together with a team to accomplish this task. I would definitely participate in a project like this one again.
Project website: https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/rio-salado-habitat-restoration-area
We are back in full swing here at YHS. The YHS chapter of the Science NHS has started up again for our 3rd year of being science enthusiasts. This year we are looking to continue our work with science outreach in our community by assisting at elementary schools as well as communicating with local scientists. Students are also participating in their own science by doing citizen science projects. Posts for these will start back up soon.
Eric, Christian, Marlene, Erick, Kiara, and Jasmin getting ready to collect trash
Already this year we have worked with community partners. On September 17th, members of the YHS chapter of Science NHS traveled down to the Rio Salado Audubon Center in central Phoenix to pick up trash. The Rio Salado is a conservation center in the heart of the city that services as both nature trails and a riparian habitat for many species, including monarch butterflies. This area also has a large seasonal river, where trash often accumulates after the monsoon rains. Every third Saturday, Arizona Audubon hosts a conservation day at the Rio Salado site. The September conservation day was to walk along the now dry river bed and pick up trash.
Students from YHS walked along the dried river bed to pick up plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, and aluminum cans, among other things, in order to protect that fragile riparian habitat for wildlife and people to enjoy. While difficult work, the students enjoyed the fact that they were helping out our local ecosystems.
Eric and Jacob picking up trash in the Rio Salado
Community Outreach Summary
The community outreach project I did was to help maintain natural area in Arizona for all types of animals, such as: birds, snakes, rabbits, ect. While there, I planted more plants and removed nonnative plants from the area, which was more beneficial to the wild life there. I joined this project, because it seemed very interesting and I wanted to see an all-natural area that was right next to phoenix. This helped the community a lot, because it gives animals a place to live, allowing the species there to thrive. Learning more science is important, because we will have more knowledge about the world and how things work in the world. After completing my part in the project I felt great, I was glad to know that I was able to help out at a rare site in Arizona.
I and a few others joined a larger organization to restore a “forced habitat”. The habitat was full of invasive species that were destroying the habitat and they all needed to be removed. I joined the project because I enjoy cleaning up habitats and helping the smaller ecosystems that are vital to the larger ecosystem. The smaller ecosystem was full of animals and insects and plants that are extremely beneficial the environment. Without the smaller ecosystem, the environment would have changed. Learning about science is important because everything we have learned and created has been through science. If it weren’t for science, we would not be as far advanced in medicine, technology, and education. I feel incredibly good about completing my part, as it is something I enjoy doing.
For my community project, I accompanied Ms. Doskocil and a number of others on a trip to the Rio Salado Riparian area. For this project, we helped pull invasive species, like buffalo grass, out of this beautiful riparian habitat. Buffalo grass grows rapidly, and crowds native plants, stealing the native plants water and nutrients.
I joined this project to learn more about riparian habitats, and to be more aware of the beauty hidden with in Arizona’s desert walls.
Removing these invasive species helped my community by saving the native plants, and preserving the habitat. I’m glad I participated, and feel great doing so, because those plants can’t save themselves, and it is necessary to preserve the life within these riparian habitats.