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Santa Fe Residents Lock Arms for Tree Planting, Fundraiser along the Santa Fe River by Joining Stream Team 2004

April 6, 2004
WildEarth Guardians
In This Release
Santa Fe, NM – Residents from across the Southwest have embraced the restoration efforts taking place along the Santa Fe River, joining WildEarth Guardians’ “Stream Team 2004” to plant thousands of native trees this spring along a three-mile stretch of River near the airport. Once severely degraded by cattle grazing and the expansion of water-hungry non-native trees, this ecologically critical streamside ecosystem is slowly recovering through active restoration.

A grassroots group of tree planting volunteers have formed Stream Team 2004 to spearhead the Earth Day fundraising campaign that will take place in the weeks before Earth Day, culminating on Saturday, April 24 with a massive tree planting along the Santa Fe River.

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

Residents from Santa Fe and beyond – including participants traveling from as far as Flagstaff – have joined Stream Team 2004 and are committing to raise pledges that will support restoration efforts along river preserves throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

“Since I live near the Santa Fe river, I’ve been able to witness its amazing recovery these past few years due to the efforts of WildEarth Guardians and many dedicated volunteers,” said Marlene Foster, a long time New Mexico resident who lives along property abutting the River and whose son, Jesse, is a Stream Team 2004 member. “This wonderful project has given Jesse the chance to share his passion for rivers, trees, and wildlife with our family, friends, and the community.”

Seven years after restoration began along the stretch of the Santa Fe River near the airport, the City of Santa Fe and New Mexico Environment Department have authorized WildEarth Guardians to resume efforts to improve the river’s condition by removing berms and more than 3,000 non-native tress and planting willows and cottonwoods along eroded stream banks to help restore the river’s natural flow and water quality.

“Stream Team 2004 is uniting a diverse group of ambassadors for healthy streamside forests from the entire community,” said Dustin Garrick, who is coordinating the event for WildEarth Guardians. “The dramatic transformation of the Santa Fe River has energized a vision of restored desert waterways and vibrant wildlife habitat 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.