Javelina are occassionally seen in the Franklin Mountains. At-Large Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition Board Member, Raul Amaya, recently reported a sighting in the Castner Range. Photo by Rick LoBello
El Paso City Departments Join Forces to Celebrate Earth Month
April is Earth Month and several City Departments are hosting special events to increase awareness about the need to be more environmentally conscious.
The Zoo, Sun Metro, Environmental Services (ESD), Museums and Cultural Affairs (MCAD) and the Library along with their partners will host events calling attention to and providing information and education for how El Pasoans can do more in their everyday lives to help preserve natural resources. Each event will have fun and interactive activities for the whole family.
For more information on El Paso’s Earth Month celebrations, visit (http://www.epearthmonth.com).
ABOUT THE EVENTS
Saturday, April 5
ESDs Earth Day Celebration
Municipal Service Center; 7968 San Paulo
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
GREEN FUN: Kick off Earth Month with ESD’s Earth Day Celebration, sponsored by the City Environmental Services Department. Enjoy a day of fun, food, and education, including booths, live demonstrations and games promoting the preservation of our planet. Bring 25 plastic bags to recycle and receive a FREE reusable bag while supplies last. Free document shredding will also be available.
Saturday and Sunday, April 12 – 13
El Paso Zoo’s Party for the Planet; 4001 E. Paisano
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
GREEN FUN: Celebrate our amazing planet at the El Paso Zoo! See how the El Paso Zoo party's animal style, all while learning how you can help to protect all life on Earth. This is the 9th year the El Paso Zoo has been a part of the largest combined Earth Day event in North America.
Saturday, April 19
Earth Day Festival at the Downtown Artist and Farmers Market; 117 Anthony
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
GREEN FUN: This event will feature arts & crafts vendors, eco-friendly activities for kids of all ages, cooking, gardening and micro-farm demos, bike clinics and Earth Day bike rides, food trucks, live music and educational booths promoting the preservation of the environment and natural resources. The event is FREE and open to the public.
Saturday, April 26
Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros; 200 Washington
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
GREEN FUN: The El Paso Public Library, Parks and Recreation and their partners celebrate children, literacy, health and education. The event is free to attend and every child gets a free book plus many other goodies. Enjoy live entertainment throughout the day, fun activities, food booths and more for every family member.
RIDE GREEN FOR FREE: Sun Metro, who drives green 365 days a year, will offer FREE trips to children 18 and younger all day on Saturday, April 26.
Preserve the Land! New Initiative Petition Begins
Time to save our natural land.
The undersigned ask that the El Paso City Council pass the following ordinance:
The City of El Paso shall preserve, in its natural state and in perpetuity, all of the undeveloped land owned by the City (including that managed by the PSB) north of Transmountain, east of Interstate 10 and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary excluding that land described in the Northwest Master Plan, and shall also preserve, in its natural state and in perpetuity, all of the undeveloped land owned by the City (including that managed by the PSB) north of Transmountain, west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary. The City shall take all steps necessary to preserve all of this land and to prevent it from being developed with either private development or major public roadways.
Conservation organizations and groups announce that they have begun collecting signatures on a new initiative petition. The petition calls for the preservation in its natural state and in perpetuity of all City owned land (even if managed by the PSB) north of Transmountain and east of Interstate 10 and west of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Organizers say that there are several good reasons for all El Pasoans to sign the petition whether they live near or faraway from the mountains. Preserving all of this land on both sides of the mountain will benefit El Paso in several ways: preservation will help us sustain the scarce resource of water - an effort which includes all El Pasoans not just those living closer to the mountains; continued enjoyment of hiking and biking trails already in existence and utilized by the public; improvement of our quality of life especially as El Paso seeks to reach its goal of decreasing obesity and diabetes; protecting wildlife and making sure that they have adequate habitat and range in order to survive; and, ensuring that millions of dollars annually will come into El Paso through ecotourism as more and more people enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and other recreational activities in our mountains and the surrounding region.
Members of the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, El Paso CAN (Conservation Action Network), El Paso Conservation Leadership Institute, iloveparks.com, elpasonaturally seek a minimum of 2,310 signatures of persons residing in El Paso and registered to vote. Even if someone did not vote in the previous city elections, as long as they are registered and living in the city, they may sign the petition. (Persons not living in the city limits but in the County of El Paso are not eligible.) The El Paso City Charter requires that 5 percent of the total number of voters in the previous general city election (in this case, May 2013) must sign a petition before it can be validated and presented to City Council. Should City Council fail to pass the ordinance, then petitioners may gather the same number of signatures again in order to require the matter to be voted on at the next city election.
Elpasonaturally has added a new page for the 2013 Initiative Petition. The page has the petition, instructions for signing and/or gathering signatures, reasons to sign and maps of the affected areas.
El Paso CAN (Conservation Action Network) is asking for the names and email addresses of all El Pasoans (or people living in the El Paso southwest region) who want to be kept informed about environmental and conservation issues in and around the City of El Paso. Suggestions for ways to help and take action will be given but are suggestions only. Each person can choose his/her level of involvement: send an email, write a letter, sign a petition, join a demonstration, or whatever. To get on the list, just send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preserve the Land! New Initiative Petition
Why Preserve this Land?
Map of the Eastern Side of the Franklin Mountains
Map of the Western Side of the Franklin Mountains
Sign Up Form El Paso Conservation Action Network
Banner images copyright Laurence Parent Photography, Inc.
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Updated March 29, 2014
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March 2014 Newsletter
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NEW: Castner Range Video:
The Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition have teamed up using grant funds to produce a video by Jackson Pope to assist in conserving Castner Range. All involved hope to preserve the natural areas, wildlife corridors and natural springs that occur on Castner Range, Fort Bliss.
Watch the 9 1/2 minute video on Youtube (http://youtu.be/OuTfrfGO-84)
Just the Facts:
Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas
Franklin Mountains State Park is considered an urban wilderness state park, the largest park of its kind in the continental United States.
-150+ recorded species of birds.
-700+ species of plants.
-Over 90 species of lichen.
-32 species of mammals.
-40 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Franklin Mountains State Park website (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains)