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Borderlands Nursery & Seed Represents BRN at the 2024 Land and Water Summit in Albuquerque!

Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN)'s Native Plant Program was thrilled to be included in the 2024 Land and Water Summit in New Mexico in March. This conference was developed to bring together design professionals, restoration practitioners, agencies, farmers, artists, teachers, hydrologists, ranchers, climatologists, wildlife advocates, homeowners, and policymakers to find sustainable ways to protect the southwest region's water and natural resources.


The event is hosted by Ciudad Soil & Water Conservation District, a political subdivision of New Mexico that promotes the conservation, improvement, and responsible use of natural resources on rural and urban lands in New Mexico. The event included a field trip to various project sites in Bernalillo County, two days of presentations, facilitated discussions at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Old Town Albuquerque, and plenty of networking opportunities.


Perin giving her presentation titled, "Roots for Retention: Native Plant Revegetation for Watershed Health" from the recording.
Perin giving her presentation titled, "Roots for Retention: Native Plant Revegetation for Watershed Health" from the recording.

BRN's Native Plant Program Manager, Perin McNelis, was a featured speaker and presented our organization's work with watershed restoration and native seed revegetation to an enthusiastic audience. It was expansive to engage with neighboring communities in the arid southwest that face similar ecological challenges and exchange methods for addressing these challenges. It is always eye-opening to get together with folks in varying overlapping fields to share our respective successes and failures that inform our adaptive management strategies in a mutually supportive environment.


Before the conference, Perin met with Cameron Weber of Rio Grande Return at the tail end of the field trip to view the Harvey Jones Channel River Outfall project site, where roughly 10 acres of riparian habitat were restored. The project is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and several public agencies, including the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Village of Corrales, City of Rio Rancho, and Bureau of Reclamation. Goals were to reconnect the bosque vegetation to groundwater, lowering the bench elevation; improve water quality to reduce stormwater pollution entering the Rio Grande; enhance bird, fish, and other wildlife habitat; reduce stagnant water and mosquito issues; illustrate the benefits of large-scale green stormwater infrastructure; and, demonstrate inter-agency coordination on a public-private partnership project. This project included planting thousands of willow polls and reseeding native species along tributaries to the Rio Grande.
Before the conference, Perin met with Cameron Weber of Rio Grande Return at the tail end of the field trip to view the Harvey Jones Channel River Outfall project site, where roughly 10 acres of riparian habitat were restored. The project is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and several public agencies, including the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Village of Corrales, City of Rio Rancho, and Bureau of Reclamation. Goals were to reconnect the bosque vegetation to groundwater, lowering the bench elevation; improve water quality to reduce stormwater pollution entering the Rio Grande; enhance bird, fish, and other wildlife habitat; reduce stagnant water and mosquito issues; illustrate the benefits of large-scale green stormwater infrastructure; and, demonstrate inter-agency coordination on a public-private partnership project. This project included planting thousands of willow polls and reseeding native species along tributaries to the Rio Grande.

Perin left feeling inspired after learning about all the excellent work happening in Arizona and New Mexico related to water conservation, green stormwater infrastructure, climate resilience planning, and more. Perin was particularly excited by projects merging research and practice and concerns about equity with environmental concerns. Most of all, it was a wonderful opportunity to get people excited about native seeds and their critical role in ecosystem recovery!


Brooke Bushman from the City of Tucson's Storm to Shade (S2S) Program presents the launch of the Hexagon Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system- the first Green asset management framework in the history of Tucson Water. The S2S installs new Green Stormwater Infrastructure on public property throughout the City of Tucson. S2S also uses the Tree Equity Score tool to prioritize investment in areas where projects are needed the most. The TES tool scores geographic regions based on tree canopy and surface temperature as well as income, employment, race, age, and health factors.
Brooke Bushman from the City of Tucson's Storm to Shade (S2S) Program presents the launch of the Hexagon Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system- the first Green asset management framework in the history of Tucson Water. The S2S installs new Green Stormwater Infrastructure on public property throughout the City of Tucson. S2S also uses the Tree Equity Score tool to prioritize investment in areas where projects are needed the most. The TES tool scores geographic regions based on tree canopy and surface temperature as well as income, employment, race, age, and health factors.

Slide from the presentation by Daniel Denipah, the Forestry Director, and Garrett Altmann, the GIS Coordinator of the Santa Clara Pueblo, on a large-scale post-fire and flooding restoration project on the Santa Clara Pueblo forest. The images show the impact of a massive fire and severe flooding that followed on the watershed. The restoration project is an incredible case study of public and private collaboration on sovereign tribal lands that merged engineering, indigenous knowledge, community design input, and both low-tech treatments for sediment stabilization and native plant revegetation, as well as machinery-based treatments like induced meaners. An inspiring project!
Slide from the presentation by Daniel Denipah, the Forestry Director, and Garrett Altmann, the GIS Coordinator of the Santa Clara Pueblo, on a large-scale post-fire and flooding restoration project on the Santa Clara Pueblo forest. The images show the impact of a massive fire and severe flooding that followed on the watershed. The restoration project is an incredible case study of public and private collaboration on sovereign tribal lands that merged engineering, indigenous knowledge, community design input, and both low-tech treatments for sediment stabilization and native plant revegetation, as well as machinery-based treatments like induced meaners. An inspiring project!

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