Recent monsoons have replenished the Colorado Plateau’s cracked surfaces with enough moisture for a second bloom of native wildflowers and grasses, which is good news for pollinators and seed collectors alike. Native seed collection is the crux of Canyon Country Discovery Center's new native plant program, born out of a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management’s Seeds of Success program. This month we have our eyes on sunflowers, daisies, sand dropseed, milkweeds, yellow beeplant, and more, that will be used for research and restoration across the country. Currently, the seed mixes that are planted after wildfires or over grazed areas often contain non-native species that can shift the ecosystem even further out of balance. We hope that the Seeds of Success program will spread awareness of native seed availability and information on how to use it.

The team has also been busy on campus cleaning up our landscaping (thanks to Canyon Country Youth Corps and our wonderful volunteers), creating new demonstration gardens, and developing interpretive programs revolving around plant ecology. They are also constructing a greenhouse that will eventually grow plants for campus gardens, the Colorado Plateau Education Center biome exhibits, and small restoration projects nearby.

Would you like to volunteer with the native plant team? Fill out our volunteer form HERE.

Published in News
Sunday, 17 December 2017 09:39

Connecting Native Youth with Ancient Roots

Canyon Country Discovery Center teamed up with the National Indian Youth Leadership Project to take two groups of middle school students from the Navajo and Pueblo tribes camping, rafting, and hiking in the Bears Ears National Monument. Participants floated the San Juan River through red rock canyons alongside petroglyph-covered cliffs that were inhabited over 800-years-ago. The San Juan River is the lifeline for many of the tribes in the Four Corners region and holds a notable place in the heart of all the residents who call this arid desert home.

After an eye-opening day rafting and learning about canyon geology, everyone had a chance to give back to the community by cleaning up and restoring a heavily used recreation area. Participants spent time discussing their responsibility to help maintain the public lands that we’re all so lucky to enjoy. Most public lands users are unaware of how much land managers rely on volunteers to help keep the places we play protected, and our participants left the volunteer project knowing the next group will enjoy the area as much as they did.

Ultimately, given the historically low participation rates of youth in outdoor recreation it is important to build bridges and provide opportunities so everyone can appreciate and explore our public lands and waterways. Through this partnership, the Canyon Country Discovery Center and National Indian Youth Leadership Project were able to provide educational and meaningful opportunities for regional youth to get out and learn new ways of enjoying their surroundings.

We want to thank our partners for supporting life changing experiences for youth; Osprey Packs, Sea to Summit, and GSI for helping our programs be successful.

 

osprey white oval logo withglow DOUBLE RES   S2S logo 2017 GSI logo 2017

Published in News