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Home | Tag Archives: Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition

Tag Archives: Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition

Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition Reminds Residents of Benefits of Planting Native Plants

In 2014, with help from the El Paso City Manager, the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition launched a native plant conservation project to encourage El Pasoans to landscape their homes with drought tolerant and water saving native plants.

The project helps homeowners make wiser choices when landscaping while helping to conserve water and lower water bills. The end result creates more habitats for native wildlife in El Paso impacted by urban sprawl.

On its website,  CDEC encourages homeowners to purchase native plants from local plant nurseries.

Recommended plants include red yucca, desert willow, mesquite and ceniza. Many species of birds and butterflies benefit from these plants helping to make El Paso a wildlife friendly city while improving the city’s quality of life.

CDEC officials share, “The shade from trees like mesquite and desert willow helps to keep homes cooler in summer which also helps to lower electricity bills. Cutting back on energy consumption helps to lower the city’s carbon footprint and its impact on climate change.  As an added benefit native plants help to capture carbon from the atmosphere important to combating climate change.”

An El Paso Channel 15 video on the project is available on YouTube.  The Parks and Recreation Department has helped to promote the project by installing seven native plant interpretive signs at Cleveland Square across from the Digital Wall at the History Museum and the baseball stadium.

A free Habitat Certification program encourages people to make their yards Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition Certified Habitats.

Anyone who registers for the free program receives a signed certificate confirming the habitat level on their property and information on how they can get a yard sign designating their property as a certified habitat.

Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta Celebrates Natural Wonders of the Franklin Mountains Saturday

The 13th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at the Tom Mays section of Franklin Mountains State Park is planned for Saturday, September 30, from 9am to 3pm.

The free family event helps people connect with the great outdoors of the Franklin Mountains and is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the help of volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition. Organizes say the annual event attracts hundreds of people to the desert mountain park in Northwest El Paso.

The outdoor venue celebrates the natural wonders of the Chihuahuan Desert and Franklin Mountains State Park. Local environmental education groups will be on hand to offer free demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers and informational booths designed to introduce the curious to the wonders of our fascinating desert.

Schedule of Events at the Entertainment Stage Area – End of the Loop Road next to the Exhibitor Tent Area

· 9:00am-9:15am- National Anthem
· 9:30am-10:00am- Cheerleading
· 10:00am-10:15am Zoo Animal Encounter
· 10:30am-11:00am- Story Telling(Marylyn Guida)
· 11:10am-11:35am- Martial Arts Demonstration
· 11:45am-12:15pm-Keyboarding/Piano
· 12:30pm-1:00pm- Rondalla Estudiantil
· 1:15pm-1:45pm- Ballet Folklorico (Champion Studio)
· 2:00pm-2:30pm- Belly Dancers

More on Geosciences Education Activities – Mini-field trips will run from 9am to 3pm, and will last only 30 minutes, with one exception. The short time means you will not be walking far. The geosciences do not only about understand the earth at your feet, but the vistas in the distance, and the sky above us.

Many of the following field trips may include a walk to a nearby place of higher elevation to get a better view. Hikers are encouraged to bring binoculars for the picturesque hike.

All mini-trips with the exception of trips 4 and 6 meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road to the right of the main stage and exhibit area.

Trip 1- 9:45 am to 10:45 am – Agave Loop for hikers interested in connecting to Mundy’s Gap.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 2-10:30 am to 12:00 pm- Aztec Cave Trail is a 1.2 mile out and back trail that features a cave and is good for all skill levels.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 3 – 11:00 am- 11:30pm- Short walk to elevation change.  Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Trip 4 -11:00 am – 12:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 5 -1:00 pm – 2:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 6 -1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Upper Sunset Trail; is one of the shorter ones (1.3 miles) and offered some great views of the valley below.  Meet at the restrooms at the end of the loop road.

Trip 7- 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm Short Hike.  No elevation change. Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Exhibitors attending the festival this year include New Mexico Farm, Ranch and Heritage Museum, Chamizal National Memorial, Hueco Tanks State Park, Aerial Tramway, Franklin Mountains State Park, Mexican Gray Wolf,  El Paso Parks and Recreation, Tech H2O, El Paso Zoo, International Boundary and Water Commission, Sierra Club, Women’s Voting, Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, Greater Big Bend Coalition, Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Master Naturalist, UTEP, El Paso Fire Department, Sustainability and Resilience Office, Audubon Society, and Friends of the Rio Bosque.

Special thanks to our volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, Franklin Mountains State Park, City of El Paso Parks and Rec, El Paso Zoo, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441 or contact CDEC Committee Chair Carlos Rodriguez at 915-240-3311.

Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition Invites Public to Meet Houdini the Harris Hawk

This Saturday, the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition will sponsor a special presentation for the entire family at the Outdoor Resource Center (Garden Center) Memorial Park at 3105 Grant Avenue in El Paso.

Houdini the Harris Hawk from the El Paso Zoo will make a special appearance as part of a new series of family programs CDEC is planning on Saturday mornings. The presentations will start Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Each presentation will be 20 minutes in length and include a question and answer session.

According to the news release, “The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition (CDEC)  is a group of people who care about our desert and want to help others understand it’s amazing natural and cultural history.”

CDEC helps to organize and sponsor educational and discovery events like the program at the Outdoor Resource Center, the Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at Tom Mays Park, a Habitat Certification program that encourages people to landscape with native Chihuahuan Desert plants and the Chihuahuan Desert Club.

 For more information on upcoming events and how to become a member visit

Chihuahuan Desert Preservation Talk set for Tuesday Evening

The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition invites the community to a special illustrated program by EPCC Biology professor Dr. Gertrud Konings at the Leona Ford Washington Recreation Center (3400 E. Missouri) on Tuesday evening, April 5th at 6:00pm.

Dr. Koning’s PowerPoint presentation with provide an interesting overview of the different habitats of the Chihuahuan Desert in the Desert Southwest.   The City of El Paso is located within the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the most biologically diverse deserts in the world.

Calling attention to this threat to our civilization Academy Awards Best Actor Leonardo DeCaprio said during his acceptance speech last month “Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

Protecting desert habitats is important to combating climate change as desert plants help to capture CO2 gases from the atmosphere in a harsh environment where few plants can survive.

Proceeds from the event ($5 per person) will go towards a handicap accessible nature walk in the Tom May’s Unit of the Franklin Mountain State Park.

A Survey of Chihuahuan Desert Habitats  by Dr. Gertrud Konings @Leona Ford Washington Recreation Center

3400 E. Missouri,  El Paso, Texas
Tuesday, April 5, 6:00 pm
$5 per person with a raffle for a free membership
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