Weminuche Audubon Society chapter to hold meeting, volunteer day

The Weminuche Audubon Society Chapter will meet today, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The topic is “Life Along the River.”

Some 90 percent of Colorado’s wildlife relies on riparian habitats at some point in their lives. Willows and cottonwoods form the backbone of these vital ecosystems, but exotic species threaten their survival.

Join Audubon Colorado’s Becky Gillette for a discussion of the natural history and impacts of these notable riverside plants. A short chapter planning session will follow.

A Weminuche Audubon Society Volunteer Days event will take place Saturday, April 18.

Celebrate Earth Day in a wonderful way: join the Weminuche Audubon Society (a TogetherGreen Grant Recipient) and local USDA Forest Service representatives for a tree planting and environmental education event, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., along Mill Creek in the San Juan National Forest. Volunteers will learn how willows, alders and cottonwood trees provide wildlife habitat and conservation benefits. They will also learn how, then plant willows in and along the creek.

Join in for a fun and educational day. This event is free and open to the public. Lunch and event-related incentives will be provided. Due to the hazards associated with working alongside a fast flowing creek, only volunteers age 18 and over (or 16 and older, accompanied by a guardian) may participate. Pets will have to sit this one out.

From Pagosa Springs, travel south on U.S. 84 half-a-mile, turn left on Mill Creek Road (CR 302) adjacent to the fairgrounds, then go five miles to a volunteer parking area on the right.

Be sure to wear lug-soled boots with good ankle support, a long-sleeved shirt and pants, gloves and a hat. Bring sunscreen, water, a folding chair, pruners (if you have them) to snip small branches and anything else you will need to spend a day outdoors.

Rain date, if necessary, will be Saturday, April 25.

For more information on this event, or to advise Audubon of the need for a vegetarian meal, call Mike Ward of the Weminuche Audubon Society at 731-9151, or e-mail laughinggull@msn.com.