Borderlands Restoration Network was thrilled to be invited to help celebrate the Future Farmers of America at their inaugural annual banquet at the Sonoita Fairgrounds on the evening of Saturday, May 19.
It was an evening that truly captured the Patagonia FFA Chapter's spirit of giving and gratitude for their community. The Patagonia FFA Chapter recognized the people and organizations that support their work in a beautiful ceremony honoring those relationships. BRN is grateful to have been inducted as an Honorary Member this past weekend, and we echo their spirit of gratitude.
Borderlands has proudly worked with FFA interns to help complete the following projects in Patagonia: the construction of FFA's very own agricultural hoop house, planting a heritage fruit tree orchard complete with rainwater harvesting structures and cistern, and purchasing materials for the seating area of a future outdoor classroom that FFA students are building. Additionally, we're excited to work with two Patagonia FFA members - Arriana Ochoa-Tovar and Lalo Aguilar - this summer as part of the 2018 BECY Patagonia crew.
Like our BECY institute, the FFA program is another example of a local organization helping to train our youth to be exemplary leaders and caretakers in our community. As their new t-shirt states, "We don't make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give". Support the Patagonia FFA chapter by purchasing a t-shirt or donating via Arizona Tax Credit. Follow them on Facebook at:
BRN staff have been invited to give a series of Special Sessions and workshops at the University of California Irvine campus and at the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center in southern California in late May. The departments of anthropology, sociology and conservation biology are seeking ways to increase their impacts in local communities and the larger socio-ecological systems in which we are embedded, beyond the valuable contributions made by academic research production.
The interactive events will include professors, administrators, undergraduate and graduate students who hope to learn from BRN's success stories and other sources of inspiration, including the creation of atypical careers and scholarly programs that merge theoretical and applied approaches. Topics will include effective, place-based collaborative conservation across scales and social groups; restoration economies and ecologies; alternatives to research-based careers; developing programs and careers that cannot be found in typical job searches; and increasing one's own responsiveness and impact under conditions of political and ecological change.
With the help of incredible community members and local businesses, the Borderlands Earth Care Youth (BECY) Institute was able to host its third official fundraiser. Under stringed lights and an almost full moon, guests enjoyed outdoor dinner and drinks to the tunes of the String Benders in the company of Borderlands Restoration Network staff, fellow community members, and BECY Institute graduates. BECY graduates showed off some of their work completed during last summer's program and were given the opportunity to express the impact BECY has had on their lives and career choices. The drinks included local wine and a specialty beer brewed particularly for this event in partnership with Public Brewhouse. Local lamb and veggies were donated and made into dishes such as shepherd's pie, homemade tacos, and plenty of salads.
Those of us at BRN and the BECY Institute are absolutely floored by the generosity of our community. We had a very ambitious goal of raising $10,000 to kick off funding for our summer 2019 programs. With the considerable support of this community, we were able to meet and exceed our goal. BRN is extremely happy to report that we were able to raise $11,000 for our youth programming.
The money from this fundraiser will help youth from Patagonia, Douglas, and Nogales, AZ continue to restore their home watersheds by restoring waterways, planting native pollinator gardens, and working with local farmers and ranchers. With a head start like this, we may be able to further expand the BECY Institute to a new community along the Arizona/Sonora borderlands region in 2019.
With that, we must say: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
As one the proud sponsors of the Madrean Conference we invite our supporters to register to attend this conference in Tucson next week, May 14-18, 2018. Tomorrow, Friday May 11th, is the last day to register online.
While many of our staff will be attending sessions and available for conversation about our organization, we are proud to have three staff members giving presentations. You can find BRN staff talking about our work at the following three sessions:
Monday morning @ 10:00. Allegra Mount will present "Native Plant Materials for an International & Biologically and Culturally Unique Eco-Region"
Over the past five years, The Borderlands Restoration Native Plant Nursery and Seed Lab in Patagonia, Arizona have developed a system for providing regional plant and seed genotypes to federal agencies and the general public. These entities comprise the BRN Native Plant Materials Program, providing a unique suite of services in a biologically and culturally unique eco-region.
In this presentation we will outline our unique program & discuss how and why we are working internationally to build eco-regional capacity for seed collection, storage, and container plant production. This will encompass an overview of current projects, opportunities for partnerships, and resources for Mexican and American practitioners working with plant materials in the Madrean Archipelago.
Monday afternoon @ 2:20. Francesca Claverie will present "Feeding Pollinators with Native Plantings: Species Palettes, Nectar Gaps, and Plant Materials Sourcing"
Borderlands Restoration’s Native Plant Materials Program’s (BRNPM) mission is to promote biodiversity by providing access to restoration quality plant materials and guidance for effective use. BRNPM is based in Patagonia, AZ and began six years ago with locally sourced plant propagation for a hummingbird habitat restoration project to supplement nectar sources for hummingbirds abandoning their nests in early summer. Since its conception BRNPM has worked with hundreds of pollinator species for support of moths, butterflies, bees, birds, and bats, and has delved into seed and plant material collection, container nursery production, seed production, and consultation for species lists and production of regional plants of the Madrean Archipelago and beyond.
BRNPM encourages locally sourced and adapted plant materials for restoration, and attempts to demystify plant materials access and use in restoration. BRNPM is proud to partner with so many organizations in the area and engage volunteers and youth in our pollinator efforts. The plant diversity of the Madrean Archipelago region is unparalleled and there are so many fun botanical options to support the myriad and wide diversity of pollinators of our area. Regardless of the habitat, there is an exciting pollinator supporting plant palette for all areas!
Tuesday morning @ 11:20. Caleb Weaver will present "Employing Rural Borderlands Youth To Restore Their Home Watersheds"
The Borderlands Earth Care Youth (BECY) Institute inspires and trains the next generation of land stewards by working with rock, wood, seeds, hands, and hearts to return flowing waters and riverside ecosystems to the arid borderlands. Youth living in rural communities along the US/Mexico border work closely with conservation professionals to make grassroots systemic change in historically overlooked and underserved communities. Simultaneously, youth learn leadership skills and are empowered to develop tiered-leadership roles with increased responsibility, accountability, and empathy. By working and playing in the great outdoors, youth develop life-long passion and skills to make positive change in their home communities – supporting the people, plants, and animals that call the borderlands home.
Does your spring To Do List include ordering new gardening tools? Music to energize you as you place your new native plants in the garden? Ordering any spring reading?
Well now your online shopping list can help support Borderlands Restoration Network's efforts in our region. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of qualifying AmazonSmile purchases to our organization. Just use the following link to ensure that all of your AmazonSmile purchases support BRN.
There are lots of ways to support Agave habitat restoration in southern Arizona and Mexico - even tasty ways!
DONATE to conservation groups like Bat Conservation International or habitat restoration groups like Borderlands Restoration Network.
PURCHASE "Bat-Friendly" mescal brands.
VOLUNTEER with habitat restoration groups that support wildlife like Borderlands Restoration Network and Sky Island Alliance.
RESTORE & GROW by planting agaves, sourced from local genetic material, on your land!
Check out all the great events at the Agave Heritage Festival in Tucson this week by visiting their website and Facebook page. Thank you to the Mission Garden & Exo Roast Co. for hosting us this weekend in Tucson for some great events!
Thanks for all of the community support at Patagonia Earthfest 2018! And special shout out to BRN's very own Perin McNelis for her hard work to make this event happen.
If you enjoyed any of the speakers, music, or tours, show your support by visiting the organizations listed below or tour our website to learn more about the Borderlands Restoration Network and to make a donation.
Huge shout out to all of the partners that made Earthfest a success!
Video by Chisa Hughes & Perin McNelis. Music by Roy Ayers.
Join Borderlands Restoration Network this Saturday, April 21st, as we celebrate the beauty of our trails, the landscape that surrounds us, and the history of our community at Earthfest 2018.
Thanks to all of our amazing partners who helped make a variety of activities available:
Get excited for the 5th annual BR Spring Plant Sale - this year concurrent with Patagonia Earthfest, hosted by Borderlands Restoration Network & The Patagonia Museum. April 21st up at the Old Main Schoolhouse campus. For all the events associated with this year's Earthfest event visit the Facebook page.
Read on for more info about Patagonia Earthfest events! This year's theme is WATER.
Seed Lab Manager Allegra just spent a week at the end of February training as a Seed Analyst at the USFS National Seed Lab in Macon, GA. This lab tests seed for timber and native plant production nurseries around the country as well as some agricultural crops - there are lots of transferable technologies that we can’t wait to apply to our work in the Madrean Archipelago. Pictured are germination chambers, tetrazolium viability tests, seed storage, and more! Thank you to the USFS National Seed Lab and the BRN Fellowship Program for providing these training opportunities!