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Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR "Rio Reforestation" increasingly involves the community
Southwest Region, October 28, 2006
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Rio Reforestation 2006 -- On October 28 more than 1,000 volunteers dedicated a Saturday morning to plant over 14,500 seedlings of 54 native species.  Local school groups, community participants, refuge volunteers, boy scouts, and other non-profit groups in the area joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel at the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR's Los Ebanos tract in Hidalgo County, Texas to transform a 50 acre farm field back to native brush.  The reforestation program on the refuge has been attempting to plant back to native species, approximately 750 acres per year.  The Rio Reforestation event is the refuge's way of involving the community in the effort, increasing awareness, and providing education and hands-on experience about how to reverse the plight of the lower Rio Grande River valley, where nearly 95% of the native habitat has been lost due to agriculture, development, and urban sprawl.   The Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR currently protects nearly 89,000 acres of native habitat and farmlands, which will be restored in the coming years. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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