Sevilleta Willows 2020

The New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors (NMVFO) returned to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge to plant willows and cottonwoods for habitat restoration.

Holes had been pre-drilled to a depth of about five feet, and water had already seeped into the bottom of most holes from the high water table. We pushed Gooding Willow and cottonwood poles deep into the holes, and then filled in the dirt, taking care to eliminate air pockets. Unlike last year, the soil in this location was sandy, not clay, and easy to back-fill.

About 770 trees were planted today by 20 volunteers and staff.

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Valle de Oro 2020

The NMVFO‘s first project of 2020 was planting saltgrass at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, with refuge staff and a couple of other groups.

Unlike last year’s project that harvested native inland saltgrass from Bernardo, plantings this year were started at a nursery and shipped in long narrow conical plastic containers. Refuge staff will compare the growth of native versus nursery plantings.

saltgrass from nursery

The plugs of grass were planted about two or three feet apart. This species is rhizomatic, and will spread. Here was my first planting, named Albert:

By noon we had planted over a thousand plugs of grass, helped by warm weather, low wind, good company, and nature vistas.