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New Mexico residents lock arms for tree planting and fundraiser by joining Stream Team 2005 Groups to Plant over 5,000 trees on…

May 3, 2005
WildEarth Guardians
In This Release
SANTA FE, NM-Residents from across the Southwest have embraced restoration efforts taking place along Southwestern Rivers, joining WildEarth Guardians’ “Stream Team 2005” to plant thousands of native trees this spring along the Rio Puerco. Once severely degraded by cattle grazing and the expansion of water-hungry non-native trees, these ecologically critical streamside ecosystems are slowly recovering through active restoration.

Now in its second year, WildEarth Guardians’ formed Stream Team to spearhead the grassroots fundraising and river restoration campaign that takes place in honor of Earth Day. The first planting for Stream Team 2005 occurred this April along the Santa Fe River, with the second planting to follow on May 7 along the Rio Puerco.

Over 100 volunteers are expected to join the Stream Team and plant between 50 and 100 trees each in order to stabilize stream banks along the river, improve water quality, and provide critical habitat to local wildlife.

Residents from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and beyond – including participants traveling from as far as Tucson – have joined Stream Team 2005 and are committing to raise pledges that will support restoration efforts along river preserves throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

“I came to the Rio Puerco last year for Stream Team and had so much fun,” says Carol Norton, WildEarth Guardians member and Stream Team 2005 fundraiser, “I knew I was making a difference and helping to restore one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. I’m inspired by WildEarth Guardians’ important work and that’s why I want to raise money for the cause.”

Seven years after restoration began along a stretch of the Santa Fe River near the airport, WildEarth Guardians continues efforts to improve the river’s condition by planting willows and cottonwoods along eroded stream banks to help restore the river’s natural flow and water quality. Similar efforts are now being made along another WildEarth Guardians river preserve along the Rio Puerco.

“Stream Team 2005 is a way for people who want to restore our precious waterways to do so with their own bare hands and creative energy,” said Ayça Akin, who is coordinating the event for WildEarth Guardians. “The dramatic transformation of the Santa Fe River fuels our vision to restore desert waterways and wildlife habitat. This year, the Stream Team community is expanding its restoration energy to the Rio Puerco and in the years to come we intend to expand to other sites throughout the Southwest.”

The pledges raised by each Stream Team member will support WildEarth Guardians’ restoration program and will enable active grassroots restoration along desert streams throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

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