Have you ever been to the Gila National forest? Well, the Gila River Festival is a wonderful reason to go if you have never experienced it. The Gila river happens to be the last free-flowing river in New Mexico and is home to a large number of different breeding birds, reptiles and other wild life. The wild life is abundant and it is also nice to support local tourism. There are numerous activities going on for the this festival. Here are a few that I thought were interesting. Click on any of the activities below for more information.
1. Fish Tales
Can’t tell a spikedace from a longfin dace? Join fish biologist Dr. David Propst for a morning field trip to the Gila River at the biologically diverse Gila Bird Area, where participants will learn to electrofish, seine, and identify fish. Expect to capture and release native species such as longfin dace, desert sucker, and Sonora sucker, as well as threatened spikedace and loach minnow. You’ll also collect several nonnative species. Propst will discuss the life histories, habitat preferences and New Mexico distribution of each species, current status, and ongoing conservation efforts. He’ll talk about threats to their survival, including the impact of a Gila River diversion on our native fish populations.
Learn how to capture rainwater to capitalize on our infrequent rain events. Local rainwater harvester Van Clothier will lead a tour of successful water harvesting projects in Silver City. See how water harvesting berms, curb cuts, and bore holes redirect street runoff to garden spaces. Tour projects where basins and other low-tech landscaping techniques cause roof runoff to soak into the ground. Learn how you can take advantage of rainfall to water your trees or garden, while conserving water and protecting the urban watershed from flooding and water quality problems. Everyone benefits from water harvesting!
Who says water and energy conservation aren’t related? Learn about the “water-energy nexus” and take a virtual home tour of how to incorporate water and energy savings in lovely and creative ways. Presenter Denise Smith will show how everyone can harvest the low-hanging fruit with low-cost, easy-to-install retrofits. Discover your home’s water footprint, in direct water consumption and also in hidden water usage embedded in common products. After Denise whets your appetite for water and energy savings, she’ll move on to inspire more beautiful dreams for green homes.