October 2017


Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns

Aspencade — Vehicles for the Cloudcroft, N.M. tours depart at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, from forest service parking lot across from the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce, with “cowboy coffee” around the campfire at the end of the tour. All events are free; participants must provide their own transportation. Information: (575) 682-2733.
  Tour lead to Upper Carr Canyon (5 miles on Sunspot Highway) The Forest Service will give a brief talk about the Lincoln National Forest and the train history plus the changing of the Aspens.
National Public Lands Day
— Lincoln National Forest hosts the volunteer-based event 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, Sleep Grass Campground in the Sacramento Ranger District. Participants can be involved in a restoration project installing “tree shades,” or working on improvements to the campground or adjacent area. Tools and work gloves provided. Bring a sack lunch. Signup: Sabrina Flores, sflores@fs.fed.us or (575) 434-7230; or Jasper Brusuelas, jbrusuelas@fs.fed.us, (575) 434-7301. Information, directions: neefusa.org/site-event/forest-rehabilitation-sleepy-grass-campground-lincoln-national-forest.

Full Moon Nights — White Sands National Monument, 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, N.M., on U.S. 70, hosts monthly full moon programs through October. Entrance fee: $5 age 16 and older. Free for children. Information: (575) 479-6124, ext. 236 or (575) 679-2599, ext. 232; or go to nps.gov/whsa.
  The final event of the season is 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5: A 3D Journey through White Sands presentation with Rangers David and Eugene.

El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society — The society’s monthly meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at the Centennial Museum on the UTEP campus. Local ecologist, photographer and musician Dr. Paul Hyder will talk about “Hybrid Cacti of the Jarilla Mountains, Otero Co., N.M.” Information: Scott, 581-6071 or trans-pecos-audubon.com.
  Field trips are open to the public. Information: Mark Perkins, 637-3521 or trans-pecos-audubon.com.
• A trip to Dell City Valley to look for migrating shore birds, Hawks and other passerines departs at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, carpooling from Evergreen Cemetery, 12400 E. Montana. Bring a lunch.
• A tour to Northeast El Paso and Fort Bliss Ponds to look for migrating birds and checking for raptors along the way, departs at 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, from the Lowe’s parking lot at Transmountain Road behind Taco Bell.

Enchanted Skies Star Party — The 24th annual night sky event is Oct. 17-22. Night viewing, lectures, and camping are at Star Village in the Cibola National Forest, 15 minutes outside Magdalena, N.M. Astronomers from New Mexico Tech, the Very Large Array, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and Magdalena Astronomical Society will be on hand. Information, registration: (505) 515-5780 or enchantedskies.org.

Wild Texas Film Tour — Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation hosts the 2017 Wild Texas short film tour showcasing wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories from across the state at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, at Alamo Drafthouse, 250 E. Montecillo. The tour will feature Texas wildlife, adventure, and conservation short films along with characters from the films, filmmakers, wildlife biologists and other experts. Tickets: $21.65; available at drafthouse.com/el-paso. Information: wildfilmtour.com.
  Meet the characters in the films, the folks behind the cameras, and some of the best photographers, anglers, outdoorsman, and wildlife enthusiasts in the state of Texas.

El Paso Zoo — 4001 E. Paisano. Zoo Entrance hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Zoo admission is $12 for ages 13 to 59; $9 for ages 60 and older and active duty military (including spouse) with ID; $7.50 ages 3 to 12; and free for ages 2 and under. Zoo members admitted free. Information: 212-0966 or elpasozoo.org.
  Boo at the Zoo is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29.
  The “Wings of the World” Bird Show is 12:30 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. weekends at the new Wildlife Amphitheater.
  “Meet The Keeper” talks are 10:30 to 3:15 p.m. at various locations throughout the zoo. Keepers will on hand to meet with guests, discuss their experiences and talk about the animals.
  “African Star” Train ride tickets are $2 plus tax ($1.50 for children and society members).
  Asian Elephant Training Encounters scheduled at noon daily.
  The El Paso Zoo is a 35-acre home to 228 species of animals. About 420 mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, 106 fish and 294 invertebrates live in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Cisneros Paraje, Birds of Prey Exhibit, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands and an Elephant Complex, and the Kalahari Research Station energy exhibit.

Wyler Aerial Tramway — 1700 McKinley. Information: 562-9899 or 566-6622. The next last Sunday hike is 8 a.m. Oct. 29, up Ranger Peak. Meet in the parking lot for the 1-mile hike.
  Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park is managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife and is also part of Franklin Mountains State Park. To get there: Take Alabama to McKinley and turn toward the mountain.

Celebration of Our Mountains — For more than 20 years, the celebration has included hiking, biking, birding, climbing, photographing, geocaching, studying and celebrating the natural wonders of the Borderland. For a full line-up of events, visit celebrationofourmountains.org.

Journey through Time at Lake Lucero —
Accompany rangers and living history actors from the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, on a journey through the 10,000 years of human habitation in the Tularosa Basin, concluding this season of White Sands National Monument’s Step Into the Past Series.
  Lake Lucero is the source of the gypsum that forms White Sands National Monument.
  The four-hour program begins at 9 a.m. Along the hike to Lake Lucero, colorful characters such as celebrated author Eugene Manlove Rhodes and renowned photographer Ansel Adams will share the rich history of the basin. Program fee: $8 for 16 years and older, $4 for children. Reservations are required and will be accepted starting Oct. 4 at nps.gov/whsa. All tour reservations must be made through the website.
  The trail is uneven, rocky, and has a grade of 2-3 percent. See website for details.

Franklin Mountains State Park — Most hiking and mountain-biking trails begin in the Tom Mays area, off Transmountain Drive on the west side of the park (east of I-10).
  The 13th annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in the Tom Mays area, with demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers, informational booths, and more. Information: Carlos Rodriguez, 240-3311, or chihuahuandesert.org.
  Entry fee is $5 per person, free for age 12 and under (with family). Correct cash or check only. Group rates available. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Information: 566-6441 or on Facebook at FranklinMountainsSP. Web: tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/franklin-mountains.
  Guided hikes and bike rides are for a $5 additional fee (free for age 12 and younger). Bring water, snacks, sturdy shoes/boots, hiking stick, maps and binoculars. Dogs welcome on leash on some hikes. RSVP required: 566-6441 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  Several non-ranger-led Celebration of Our Mountains events will be held in the park; $2 entry fee for persons 13 years and over. Visit celebmtns.org to see meetup locations. Hikes begin at 8 a.m. at Tom Mays Unit, unless otherwise listed.
• Saturday, Oct. 7: Peak Fitness hike to Ron Coleman Trail. Meet at Ron Coleman Trailhead and Carpool to McKelligon Canyon.
• Sunday, Oct. 8: West Cottonwood Springs
• Saturday, Oct. 21: Aztec Caves Hike
• Sunday, Oct. 22: Schaeffer Shuffle
  The 24,000-acre park extends north from the heart of El Paso to the New Mexico state line. The highest point is North Mt. Franklin, 7,192 feet above sea level.

Rio Bosque Wetlands Park — UTEP’s Center for Environmental Resource Management offers free guided walking tours and other activities at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, 10176 Socorro Rd. in El Paso’s Mission Valley. Tours last about two hours. Information: 747-8663 or riobosque.org.

Municipal Rose Garden — The garden at 3418 Aurora (at Copia) is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily late March through November, except for official holidays. The garden has many types of roses at the sprawling park area with a waterfall, shade canopy and many other amenities. Admission is free. Information/rentals: El Paso Parks and Recreation, 541-4331.

Keystone Heritage Park and El Paso Desert Botanical Garden — 4200 Doniphan (across from Frontera). Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: $3 (free for members). Information: 584-0563, keystoneheritagepark.org or elpasobotanicalgardens.org.
  The park’s 2-acre Botanical Garden, funded by the Rotary Club of El Paso and the Junior League, features native plants, amphitheater, butterfly garden, wedding garden, children’s maze, and a Butterfly House.
  Keystone Heritage Park has 189 species of migratory and local birds, and a 4,500-year-old archaeological site.
  The site is open for bird watching 9:30 a.m. to noon the second and last Saturday of the month.
  Keystone’s Chihuahuan Desert Experience (immediately west of the wetland) is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for walking and bird watching.

Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site — Ranch Road 2775 off U.S. 62/180 (Montana Ave.). The site is famed for many Native American rock paintings and unique geology. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission: $7 (free for children 12 and younger). Admission with tours or hikes is $9 (13 and over); $2 (ages 5-12). No entry fee to Interpretive Fair Oct. 21-22. Information: 857-1135, ext. 0, or texasstateparks.gov.
  The 23rd annual Interpretive Fair is 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21-22, with a variety of programs such as Native American dancing and drumming, storytelling and cultural presentations, and historic games with Texas Parks and Wildlife's Buffalo Soldiers program. Pictograph, birding, nature, and recreational tours will go out both days, with a stargazing program Saturday evening. Food and beverages can be purchased on site. Admission is free.
  Bring water, hiking shoes and sunscreen for all daytime events:
Special events (space is limited; reservations required):
• Rare Plant Tour is 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Volunteers Susan and Harry Stone lead a tour of the plant life located in the park.
• Rock Art Tour with Dr. David Carmichael is 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
• Women’s Hike is 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Open to all women.
• Hueco Tanks Constellation Tour is 8 to 10 p.m. is Thursday, Oct. 26, with a night of stargazing, stories, and planetary viewing. Visitors welcome to bring their own binoculars and telescopes. No reservations needed, but groups accepted on a first come, first served basis with a cap visitation at 100 people. Gates close at 8 p.m., no exceptions.
• Birding hike is 7:30 a.m. third Saturday of the month (Oct. 21, Nov. 18).
• Constellation tour is 8-10 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month (Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 23).
  Reservations are recommended for the self-guided area and for camping: (512) 389-8911.
  North Mountain is available for self-guided day use, for up to 70 people at a time; reservations recommended. There is an annual orientation program for visitors. Guided access is offered to the rest of the site. Picnicking allowed at ten tables closest to headquarters. Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted. Bicycles permitted only on designated paved areas. Pets allowed only in camping or picnic areas. Call for reservations and other information: 857-1135.
  There are campground sites with water and electric, as well as water-only tent sites.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park — The park is about 160 miles east of El Paso, off the Carlsbad Highway (U.S. 62-180). Information: (575) 785-2232 or nps.gov/cave.
  Winter hours: Visitor Center open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; tours available 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Last entry into cave via natural entrance is 2 p.m. with last entry into cave via elevator 3:30 p.m. (be in line to exit cave by 4:30 p.m.).
  Plan 3-1/2 hours for a walk-in tour and 1-1/2 hours for Big Room tour of the Caverns. Cost is $10 (free or ages 15 and younger). The park’s audio self-guided tour is $3 extra (also available in Spanish).
  The “bat season” generally lasts from April or May through mid-October. Daily bat flight talks begin at 7:30 p.m. (about 15 minutes long) are offered just before sunset at the amphitheater outside the natural entrance. Admission is free. Then — bats willing — visitors are treated to the sunset spectacle of clouds of bats flying out of the cave entrance. Best flights are usually in August and September.
  Bird banding of the cave swallows is the first Friday of the month through October in the amphitheater.
  Other guided tours are available; call or check website for details.

White Sands National Monument — The glistening gypsum dunes are about 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, N.M., on U.S. 70. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 4. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Oct. 7; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9-Nov. 4. Entrance fee: $5 age 16 and older. Free for children. Information: (575) 479-6124, ext. 236 or (575) 679-2599, ext. 232; or go to nps.gov/whsa.
  Sunset strolls are offered daily one hour before sunset: 5:45 p.m. through Oct. 8; 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9-22; 5:15 p.m. Oct. 23-Nov. 4.
  Full Moon Hike is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4. Reservations required, starting one month in advance of each hike; online only. Cost: $8; $4 age 15 and young, plus monument entrance fees.
  The final Full Moon Night program of the season is 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, with a “3D Journey Through White Sands.”
  Journey through Time at Lake Lucero with rangers and living history actors from the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.
  A Full Moon Bike Ride is 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. Dress warmly. Reservations begin one month in advance; space limited. Reservations via nps.gov/whsa. Fee is $8 per person; $4 ages 15 and younger, plus park entrance fee.
  Sunrise photography is 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Registration required; starting one month before event. Program fee is $8 ($4 age 15 and younger); reservations required and available one month prior to tour.
   Ranger-guided Lake Lucero Tour is 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, to learn about the formation of the sands and the special plants and animals that live in and around the dunes. Program fee is $8 ($4 age 15 and younger); reservations required and available one month prior to tour.
  “Skins and Skulls” mammal identification talks are 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park — 110 miles east of El Paso on the way to Carlsbad, the 86,416-acre park includes the highest point in Texas: Guadalupe Peak, 8,749 feet. Entry fee: $5 for ages 16 and older, good for one week and all trails. Pine Springs Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Camping is $8 per site per night. Information: (915) 828-3251 or nps.gov.
  The Salt Basin Dunes Day Use Area is now open daily 8 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset. Located at the east end of Williams Road, east of Dell City.
  Camping for tents and RVs, a nature trail, and ruins of the Butterfield Overland Mail Station are near the Pine Springs center. McKittrick Canyon Visitor’s Center is seven miles east of Pine Springs, and offers nature, canyon and geology trails.
  On the north side of the park, accessible by a 110-mile drive around Carlsbad Caverns, is Dog Canyon Visitor Center and Campground.
  One of the best examples of a Permian Period fossil reef, the national park offers camping and more than 80 miles of trails. Hikes range from easy, wheelchair-accessible nature trails to moderate (level, but rocky) canyon hikes to strenuous mountain hikes.

New Mexico State Parks — Day-use fee is $5 when visiting any state park. All programs are free with park entrance, unless otherwise listed. Information: (575) 744-5998 or nmparks.com.
• Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Information: (575) 744-5923.
  Boating Safety Classes are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
• Oliver Lee State Park, Highway 54 south of Alamogordo at the Dog Canyon turnoff. Information: (575) 437-8284.
  Shadows of Once Great Stars night sky viewing is 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.
  Night sky viewing of Princess Andromeda is 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.
• Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. 5000 Calle del Norte in Mesilla. Information: (575) 523-4398.
  Audubon Bird Walks are 7:15 a.m. Saturdays, led by park volunteers. Ranger-led Nature Hikes are 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Fitness in Nature walks with the Second Chance Walker Program are 8:30 a.m. every Saturday beginning at the Visitor Center.
• Rockhound State Park, five miles south of Deming on State Road 11 and then east on Rockhound Road (State Road 141) for nine miles. Day use hours: 7:30 a.m. to sunset. Information: (575) 546-6182 or (575) 744-5998.
• Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, N.M., State Roads 11 and 9. Day use hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Information: (575) 531-2711.
  The 12th annual Pancho’s Car Show is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.
Leasburg Dam — 12712 State Park Road in Radium Springs, two miles off Interstate 25 at Exit 19. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for day use. Information: (575) 524–4068.
  Monthly Bird ID Tour is 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
  A History of Nature and Man hikes at LDSP are 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 and 25, and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 28.
  Music in the Park is 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, with live music and stargazing.
  Mammoths to Mescaleros guided hike is 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 and 22.
  A Native American Month celebration is 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8.
  Night Sky viewing is 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.
  A “Which Came First? River or Valley” hike is 10 a.m. t 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25.
• Percha Dam State Park, 60 miles north of Las Cruces on Interstate 25. Information: (575) 743-3942.
• Caballo Lake State Park, 60 miles north of Las Cruces on Interstate 25. Information: (575) 527-8386.
  The annual 4x4 Rock Climbing Challenge weekends are Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, and Oct. 13-15, at the Riverside Group Shelter Area. Riverside campsites are expected to be filled quickly by event participants.
  A star program is 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
• Bottomless Lakes State Park — 13 miles east of Roswell, N.M. via US 380. Information: (575) 624-6058.
• Brantley Lake State Park, 12 miles north of Carlsbad via U.S. 285. Information: (575) 887-5516.
  Camping fees at state parks are $8 for primitive site; $10 for developed site (electrical hookup $4 extra).
• City of Rocks State Park, off Hwy 61 in Faywood, N.M., about 130 miles west of El Paso. Information: (575) 536-2800.
  Star Party is 6:15 to 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, weather permitting.

Youth Plus 1 Hiking Program — The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department offers a Youth + 1 (parent) hiking program for ages 12-16 that provides hikes in length from 3 to 7 miles. Participants required to wear hiking boots, hats, a backpack, and bring water and a lunch. Hikes are 3 to 7 miles long, and take place every other Saturday to sites such as Dripping Springs, Filmore Canyon, Soledad Canyon, Branson Canyon and more. Admission is free, but space is limited. Transportation provided. Register 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell. Information: (575) 541-2454.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park — 1504 Miehls Drive N., Carlsbad, N.M. Admission: $5 ($3 ages 7-12; free for 6 and under). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (last entry at 3:30 p.m.). Information: (575) 887-5516.
  The last Full Moon Walk the season is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5.
  The zoo features animals native to the Chihuahuan Desert, in natural desert surroundings. A large greenhouse is devoted to succulents and cactus from around the world. The headquarters building includes exhibits on minerals, history, archaeology and other subjects.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument — 44 miles north of Silver City on NM Highway 15 in the middle of the majestic Gila Wilderness, the first and one of the largest wilderness areas. Entrance fee: $5 per person; $10 per family. Information: (575) 536-9461 or nps.gov/gicl.
  The trail to the cliff dwellings is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. year round. Everyone must be off the trail by 5 p.m. Visitor center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Alameda Park Zoo — Alameda Park, 1321 North White Sands Blvd. (U.S. 54/70), Alamogordo. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $2.50 ($1.50 ages 3-11 and 60 and older; free for ages 2 and younger). Information: (575) 439-4290.
  The annual Zoo Boo trick-or-treat event is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 21.
  The oldest zoo in the Southwest (established in 1898) is part of the park that lines Alamogordo’s main highway. The zoo covers about 12 acres, with about 250 exotic and indigenous animals.

Aguirre Spring Campground — The Organ Mountain recreational area, run by the federal Bureau of Land Management, is off U.S. 70 about 15 miles east of Las Cruces. Fifty-five family camping and picnic sites, plus two group areas. Day-use fee is $3 per vehicle.
  The Baylor Pass (hiking and horseback riding) and Pine Tree (hiking) trails begin at the campground.
  Information, group reservations: (575) 525-4300.

Dripping Springs Natural Area — The recreational area is at the base of the Organ Mountains at the end of Dripping Springs Road (the eastern extension of University Avenue), about 10 miles east of Las Cruces. The area, run by the federal Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, includes the A.B. Cox Visitors’ Center, several hiking trails, and La Cueva Picnic Area.
  October through March the entrance gate is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  Admission is $3 per vehicle. No pets allowed (except for assistance animals). Information: (575) 522-1219.

Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park — The park, part of Asombro Institute for Science Education, is northeast of Las Cruces, off Jornada Road. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Information: (575) 524-3334 or asombro.org.
  To get there: Take I-25 in Las Cruces and head east on U.S. 70. Take the Mesa Grande Road exit (at Oñate High School). Make a U-turn under the highway to head west, and stay in the right lane. Turn right (north) on Jornada Road. Follow Jornada Road for 6.4 miles and turn left at the park sign. Follow the entrance road to the parking area and trailhead.
  Asombro Institute for Science Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing scientific literacy by fostering an understanding of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Sitting Bull Falls — The scenic area in the Lincoln National Forest is seven miles southwest of NM 137 on Forest Route 276. The 130-foot falls is one of the highest in New Mexico. Features a picnic area and wheelchair-accessible trails. Entry fee: $5 per car (day use only). Information: (575) 885-4181.

Area hiking websites — A variety of organizations in the El Paso/Las Cruces area offers hiking opportunities. Hikes typically are rated as easy, moderate, or strenuous. Solo or new hikers are welcome.
• Meetup.com offers a variety of groups for all activities, including the El Paso hiking meetup club (meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking) and the Las Cruces hiking meetup club (meetup.com/jornada-hikers)
• Celebrations of Our Mountains now offers an ongoing calendar of hiking and related events at celebrationofourmountains.org/
• Elpasonaturally is a blog by Jim Tolbert on various environmental topics and includes information about Sunrise Hikers morning events. Information: elpasonaturally.blogspot.com or diegotolbert@gmail.com.
• The El Paso chapter of the Sierra Club posts its hikes at sierraclub.org/elpaso.

Chihuahuan Desert Nature Club — Seven El Paso sites participate in the new club helping area residents connect to the location natural environment, and learn more about Chihuahuan Desert area plants and animals. Membership is free to all ages.
  To join, persons need to visit one of the Nature Club’s Chihuahuan Desert Hot Spots, pick up a flier, and get a stamp. Once they have visited at least three of the seven participating Hot Spots, show stamped flier and receive an official Chihuahuan Desert Nature Club sticker. Sign up available online at chihuahuandesert.org.
   Participating locations: Chamizal National Memorial, Don Haskins Recreation Center Nature Trail, El Paso Zoo, Franklin Mountains State Park (Tom Mays Unit), Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, and Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park. Admission fees apply at some sites.

Chihuahuan Desert Resource Institute — The CDRI center and botanical gardens are four miles south of Fort Davis on Hwy 118. Admission: $5 ($4 seniors 65 and older; free children 12 and younger, members). Information: (432) 364-2499 or cdri.org.

Davis Mountains Preserve — The Nature Conservancy preserve is open to the public on designated days, with no admission fee. No pets allowed. All visitors must sign in at McIvor Conservation Center near the preserve’s entrance. Reservations not required for day use, but strongly encouraged for overnight stays: (432) 426-2390, ext. 1 or dsouth@tnc.org.
  To get there: Take Hwy 118 from Fort Davis to the Lawrence E. Wood picnic area. The preserve gate is about one-quarter mile north of picnic area on left (look for sign).

Chihuahuan Desert Wildlife Rescue — The nonprofit organization that serves West Texas and Southern New Mexico offers resources for those who find a wild bird or mammal in need of help. Information: 772-6011, (575) 882-2910 or cdwr.org.
  Uninjured baby birds may be returned to their nest; the mother will not reject them if humans have touched them. If the nest cannot be found, create one with a basket or container with good drainage that can be attached to the tree so the parent bird may find it. If the bird is injured, contact the rescue immediately.

Community Tool Sheds — Keep El Paso Beautiful, in partnership with Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Home Depot and El Paso Fire Department, offers community tool sheds available at area fire stations. The sheds are stocked with push brooms, shovels, rakes, a gas weed eater, gloves and trash bags for use for cleanup or beautification projects. The items may be borrowed for no charge to the public for community cleanup projects. Information: 546-6742.
  Tool sheds are at 5315 Threadgill, 3801 Fort Blvd., 6500 N. Mesa, 7901 San Jose, 11977 Pellicano, 1801 Montana, 6300 Delta and 10834 Ivanhoe.


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