Nearly 40 volunteers worked with park staff to sow seed and plant 817 plants over 30 acres at the Montezuma Well riparian restoration project last week.
As part of this effort, twenty-one students from Camp Verde High School planted 385 plants in the five-acre west field unit. The native plants that were planted include desert willow, four-winged saltbush, green brittlebush, soaptree yucca, and yerba de pasmo. The native seed sown included 35 different species of native plants collected in the park by volunteers and park staff over the past two years. Last week’s volunteers also built and installed cages for the plants to protect them from wildlife. As the year progresses, the students and other volunteers will continue to help the park control invasive plants around the young plants.
This large planting project was a part of the five-year Montezuma Well pasture restoration project, which was funded through the Arizona Water Protection Fund and is a cooperative venture between Natural Channel Design, Inc. and the National Park Service. The purposes of this project are to:
restore and enhance riparian vegetation/habitats by removing invasive weedy species and replacing them with native species along the flood terrace of Wet Beaver Creek;
reconnect the riparian habitats that are created by Wet Beaver Creek and the irrigation ditch;
restore and enhance the declining riparian desert bosque and grassland habitats, and
provide educational opportunities for Monument visitors regarding the importance of riparian plant communities and their habitats.