Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute added 13 new photos to the album: 20th Anniversary of Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Farm — with John Morgan and Native Seeds/SEARCH at Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Farm.
The Borderlands Earth Care Youth (BECY) Institute provides paid internships to high school students for them to learn practical, marketable skills in watershed restoration, ecosystem restoration, and food system restoration.
Students work with experts from a broad spectrum of ecologically and socially-innovative organizations through a 6-week period each summer, while too restoring their home watershed. Through steady exposure to working professionals who have built conservation careers in unique ways appropriate to solving ecosystem challenges, high school students can better imagine a positive professional role in the communities where they have grown up.
Thank you to Caleb Weaver, Ben Shonkwiler & Iliana Castro for supervising this inspiring program !
Shared Work & Collaborative Leadership For Systemic Change by Joshua Cubista
In support of learning and leading together while co-creating a restoration economy in the borderlands, the Institute hosted a webinar exploring Shared Work as a model for collaborating together when faced with complex and systemic challenges and opportunities. It was an honor to explore with Tuesday Ryan-Hart and Tim Merry the Shared Work model as a process for understanding and practicing key elements of collaboration through the work that we do together here in the borderlands and around the world. (...) Read More
The Old Main Elementary School’s cafeteria has been given new life as the Borderlands Restoration Seed Lab, the central hub of BRLI’s native seed conservation efforts. Spaces that used to hold tables and chairs now hold lab benches and seed cleaning equipment, and a dry-foods storage closet has been converted into a cooler for storing the seed collection, which is made up of over 600 individual collections of seeds of native species from wild lands across Southeast Arizona se...lected for their value in pollinator support, erosion control, and cultural enrichment (edible and medicinal plants).
Before moving to Old Main, the seed lab was housed in the small guest-house of a generous town resident, where bookshelves full of jars of seed lined the walls. All these seeds were collected from wild plants on public and private lands, and held within them adaptations to our unique and beautiful Sky Island mountain ranges, including the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains. Last year, our collectors brought in so many seeds the lab was literally bursting at the seams, and so a move to a larger space was in order. (...) Read More
This year, three of our interns (Oliver Ly, William West & Laura Nolier) volunteered to map the wet and dry sections of the Babacomari River - the main tributary to the San Pedro River within the Sierra Vista Subwatershed. Alongside Willie Sommers, Lucy Hyatt, Angela Garcia, Pierre Jouin and Kathy Collins, they walked through riparian grasslands and along Cottonwood-Willow Riparian Galleries, marking the presence of water using a GPS to identify the quantity of baseflow prese...nt in the river at the driest time of the year.
The San Pedro River wet/dry mapping initiative is a community effort organized by The Nature Conservancy to track the San Pedro’s health by monitoring the persistence of surface water during the driest time of the year.
To learn more, click on the following link: http://www.borderlandsinstitute.org/…/wet-dry-mapping-of-th…
In his book "Half Earth", E.O. Wilson advocates setting aside half of our earth's land and resources for wildlife. He cites the Madrean Archipelago as an area deserving and in need of protection based on biological richness, uniqueness, and research needs. We wanted to see what this piece of earth looked like from the sky. And all we found was beauty.
More than 1,000 people live, work, and play in the Sonoita Creek Watershed, all with varying opinions, values and preferences regarding the environment around them. In order to better understand this social landscape and its relationship to its near environs, in May 2017 BRLI disseminated a survey to watershed residents eliciting information on a range of topics including: attitudes towards, and participation in, activities in the Sonoita Creek Watershed; values residents ass...ociate with the area; and preferences for watershed management.
This survey is one research venture of several currently being undertaken under the rubric of the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute’s ‘Patagonia’s Water Future’ project. Aquifer recharge modeling, stream-flow analysis and groundwater monitoring are also being undertaken concurrently. Its insights can help us better understand how ecological restoration and a restoration economy might support the ecological and economic values of residents in, and visitors to, the Sonoita Creek Watershed.
Preliminary results were presented on June 3rd at Science on the Sonoita Plains
The Institute will be supporting this annual effort to map baseflows in the San Pedro and its tributaries next weekend (Saturday 17th June). If you are interested in volunteering for this wet-dry mapping effort, contact us for more information!
Much hard work and many smiles at Mark Winters & Debra Paterson's house. The BECY crew worked on erosion control to prepare the house for the arrival of the Monsoon - a vital and aesthetic contribution! BECY Director Caleb Weaver and facilitators Ben Shonkwiler and Iliana Castro supported the work, ensuring Debra's investment in hiring the BECY team would pay dividends into the future!
On July 3rd, our flagship Field Course will commence, providing participants a comprehensive overview of ecological restoration and the growing restoration economy of the U.S. - Mexico Borderlands. The course is divided into 4 modules:
- An Introduction to the Borderlands & the Restoration Economy (2 week course)
- Watershed Restoration (1 week course)
- Native Plant Materials (1 week course)
- Foodshed Restoration (1 week course)
Participants can choose to attend a specific week or take the entire course.
To explore the detailed schedule for each module and sign up, please click on the following links:
Patagonia (Arizona), Nogales, Santa Cruz & Agua Prieta (Sonora) and Janos (Chihuahua)
Patagonia, Sonoita and Tucson (Arizona)
On June 1, the Institute begins its first year of operations.
Over the past year of planning, supported by Biophilia Foundation, the Institute crafted a bold mission to build a restoration based economy in the borderlands region of Sonora and Arizona. Founding partners are Borderlands Restoration, Deep Dirt Farm Institute, Wildlife Corridors, Cuenca Los Ojos, and Borderlands Habitat Network. Collectively they have over 45 years’ experience doing restoration work throughout th...e borderlands.
The challenge for the Institute is to expand knowledge through research and collaboration which will translate into more field projects to restore the land for people and wildlife, provide more sustainable jobs and businesses within our region, and teach technical skills and the leadership capacities. The goal is to build local support and involvement and to pass on this knowledge across the globe. That is one tall order.(...)
Rio Sonora Agro-Ecology Short Course by Perin Hailey McNelis
The Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute (BRLI) kicked off its Mexico programming this May by co-sponsoring a field course through The Southwest Center at the University of Arizona led by Gary Nabhan and Bill Steen. The five day agro-ecology short course was held in the farm-ranch-riparian corridor mosaic of the Rio Sonora and was attended by BRLI fellows, Allegra Celeste, Caleb Weaver, Perin McNelis, and An...ita Francesca Claverie.
The pilot workshop focused on field methods for surveying & documenting the ecosystem services provided by living fencerows of cottonwoods & willows planted between agricultural fields and the banks of the river. The agroecological tradition of installing living fencerows is recognized by farmers and ranchers along the flood plains of the Rio Sonora as a necessity for buffering fields from damaging floodwaters and debris during the monsoon storms, while still allowing nutrients and moisture (or “el abono del rio,” literally translated to “manure of the river”) to nourish the cultivated areas. (...)
Learn to control erosion by utilizing and cultivating native grasses to not only protect your landscape, but prevent water pollution, soil loss, and wildlife habitat loss. This event is taking place at UA South, Sierra Vista Campus, in Groth Hall from 9am - 10:30am and is organized by Water Wise !
Avdancing the Restoration Economy, by Ron Pulliam
A restoration economy is a relatively new idea and is sometimes defined as the economic activity associated with the restoration of degraded ecosystems. In this narrow sense, a restoration economy is the opposite of an extractive economy that creates economic activity by extracting or depleting natural resources.
We prefer a somewhat broader definition: A restoration economy is all of the economic activity associated with rest...oring degraded ecosystems and maintaining the ecosystem services provided by un-degraded natural ecosystems. Although the idea of ‘ecosystem services’ is also relative new, the concept has been well characterized and includes the basic ecosystem functions that support life such as the recycling of water and nutrients, the maintenance of biodiversity, the pollination of plants and the control of climate and disease plus the cultural services (i.e. spiritual and recreational benefits) provided by natural ecosystems. (...)
When Restoration Ecology meets Agro ecology: a very successful educational & research trip in the Rio Sonora involving Gary Nabhan, Anita Francesca Claverie, Allegra Celeste, Caleb Weaver, Perin Hailey McNelis, Laura Monti, Ron Pulliam, Tom Sisk, ...
This pilot course focussed on field methods to survey and document the ecosystem services provided by living fencerows of cottonwoods & willows as well as by hedgerows of multiple species of native shrubs and trees in the traditional farm-ranch-riparian corridor mosaic of the Rio Sonora. The team also explored cultural amenities and enjoyed the best of Mexican gastronomy !