It’s been an eventful several months since my last update in February. The Friends of Whitfield have continued to hold regular workshops on the third Saturday of the month from 9:00 – 12:00. During those days volunteers have cleared the trail east of the visitor center, trimmed brush between the parking area and the cactus garden, picked up trash along Highway 47, and spruced up the pollinator and cactus gardens. Volunteers individually contributed hours during the week and tackled projects assigned by Johnny Chavez, Conservation Program Manager. Several volunteers did a wonderful job updating and enhancing the information board the Friends display whenever they have a booth at an event. A couple of volunteers also assisted Allison Martin, Education Manager, and Natalie Duncan, Education Assistant, when a class of elementary school students came for a field visit to Whitfield.

The second annual Friends of Whitfield online auction was volunteer driven and financially successful. Seven dedicated volunteers planned and implemented the event, our largest fund raiser of the year. The total hasn’t been tabulated but we anticipate we’ll exceed the amount we netted from last year’s auction and that was $3380.00.

The Science Fiesta/Earth Day celebration at Whitfield on April 22 – 23 saw an impressive turnout of volunteers who helped with the set up and take down, manned the registration table and Friends booth, greeted the public and directed folks to upcoming events as the time approached, served snacks, and helped the event proceed smoothly.

While much of the conservation area is closed to the public due to the damage done by the recent Big Hole Fire, the good news is that much of the plant life is recovering. Fields are turning green as irrigation water flows. It’s anticipated there will be a need for restoration planting in coming months for trees and plants that didn’t survive. The extent of the damage continues to be assessed and a plan will be created. When the time comes for replanting the call will go out for volunteers.

In the meantime, volunteers can always be used at Whitfield in a wide range of activities, from trail and garden maintenance to computer skills, from board of director membership to interpretive guides. What skills, talents and interests do you have that you’d be willing to share with the Friends of Whitfield and the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area?

Frank Mazza, Volunteer Coordinator, 802-772-5320