Volunteer participation at the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area is on the increase.  On Saturday, January 15, ten people showed up for the morning work session.  Nine of us worked on trimming and pruning brush and shrubs to the east and north of the visitor center.  One volunteer completed his monthly water analysis of the numerous wells at the conservation area.  The wells are remnants from the days Whitfield was a dairy farm.  This citizen science study has been in progress for several years and is creating a record of changes in sub-surface water quality.  There are ample opportunities to create your own citizen science project at Whitfield that would enhance your knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Rio Grande basin as well as document the changes that inevitably occur over time.

The Friends of Whitfield Online Auction Committee met on January 12 to discuss this year’s major fundraising event and to assign tasks.  Our goal is to net at least $4000 after expenses.  The funds raised will be used to support the education programs administered by Allison Martin, Education Manager of the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District (VSWCD), who is housed at Whitfield.  Committee members will soon approach businesses and ask for donations for the auction.  The auction will run from April 1 – 23 with the final two days falling in conjunction with Earth Day and Science Fiesta programs at Whitfield Conservation Area.  This popular spring event is organized by VSWCD and features presentations, activities, and booths that celebrate our planet and provide enjoyable ways to learn about our environment.  We can use volunteers both on the auction committee and at the Earth Day/ Science Fiesta activities.

The next Friends of Whitfield workday will be held on Saturday, February 19, from 9:00 – 12:00.

Frank Mazza, Friends of Whitfield Volunteer Coordinator