Thursday, November 5, 2009

Volunteers Help Wetlands Preserve Preserve bounce back

Moab -- On Oct. 24, a bunch of volunteers assembled behind the Archway Inn in Moab. The team was armed with shovels, water buckets and a lot of determination.

Their mission? Plant more than 2,000 native plants at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve, which was ravaged by fire last fall.

The team focused its efforts on the north side of the preserve.

A successful day
The group’s determination and hard work paid off. Workers, both young and old, successfully planted 2,022 native plants. The plants included trees, shrubs and grasses.

The shovel brigade included a bunch of students from Kelly Wilson’s science class from Grand County Middle School. The students were especially helpful. The work party also included residents of Moab, personnel from The Nature Conservancy and the Division of Wildlife Resources, and people from towns as far away as Park City and Grand Junction.

Another planting project is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 7. This project will focus on the south side of the preserve. The Nature Conservancy hopes to attract scout groups, church groups and environmentally-minded people who care about the preserve and want to help rehabilitate it.

If you’d like to help, meet at the TNC parking lot on Kane Creek Boulevard in Moab at 9 a.m.

On Oct. 21 and 22, 2008, a fire charred more than 400 acres at the Matheson Wetlands Preserve. In addition to destroying vegetation, the fire destroyed trail systems, boardwalks and the preserve’s wildlife-viewing blind.

Formerly known as the Moab Sloughs, the preserve was established in 1990. It encompasses more than 895 acres. This unique system represents the largest intact wetlands on the Colorado River in Utah. The preserve is home to more than 200 species of birds, amphibians and mammals.

For more information, contact Linda Whitham with The Nature Conservancy at (435) 259-4629 or   .

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