Arroyo Colorado

December 16, 2009

Hello Arroyo Partners:

Winter is here.  It is mid-December, 45 degrees outside and the RGV has received 2-3 inches of rain over the last 2 days and they are calling for more today.  I guess the predictions for a wet winter are right on track.

We have been feverishly working on all of the grant proposals I mentioned in the last Bimonthly.  All proposals will have been submitted by the end of this week.

The City of La Feria had a grand opening for their wetland and park on Saturday December 5, 2009.  It was a little wet and cold but they still had over 500 visitors.  I want to congratulate Darla Jones, Sonny Philips and the City of La Feria.  They have all put in a lot of hard work and time to see this wetland become a reality.  The AC model was on display and staff from the Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center were on hand to help visitors identify all of the birds visiting the wetland.  I believe they were 1 shy of 30 different birds.

The teacher training workshop for the science teachers at Hidalgo Independent School District went very well.  We had 13 teachers and 11 sophomores and seniors from the Hidalgo High School AP Biology and AP Environmental science class.  I would like to thank Kelly VanHee and Patricia Gandy for all of their help coordinating the workshop and for giving me the opportunity to speak to their teachers and students about the Arroyo Colorado.  Patricia is a member of the TX Stream Team and is a certified Stream Team trainer.  Most of the students in her environmental science class are TX Stream Team monitors.  It is really exciting to see a group of students becoming stewards of their environment.  I hope that every one of those students go on to become environmental engineers and scientists.  They certainly have a good foundation to start from.  The Hidalgo High School dual enrollment early college program was ranked 97th in the nation.  Great job!

I want to remind everyone that the ACWP will be holding O&E, Habitat, WWI and Ag workgroup meetings and the Steering Committee meeting in January.  If there is an issue, topic or project that you would like to discuss during these meetings, please e-mail me so I can include it on the agenda.

A light frost topped my seedlings in the butterfly garden a couple of weeks ago but they pulled through.  The seedlings were big enough that they only lost the top set of leaves.  I was told that, that would make them bushier.  Now with all of this rain, they should be fine by spring.

Looking ahead,

Jaime Flores