Aznps April 2009

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Presentation about the Rillito River Ecological Restoration Project - given at the April 2009 Arizona Native Plant Society general meeting

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Aznps April 2009

  1. 1. Rillito River Ecosystem Restoration Carianne Funicelli and Lori Woods, RECON Environmental Mike Fink, USACE, Los Angeles District John Taylor, USACE, Los Angeles District Andrew Wigg, Pima County Regional Flood Control District
  2. 2. Project Sponsors: Project Contractors and Subcontractors:
  3. 3. PROJECT AUTHORIZATION & PURPOSE <ul><li>Continuing Authorities Program project, Section 1135 Environmental Protection and Restoration, Project Modifications for Improvement of the Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Modifies existing soil cement / channel stabilization project on Rillito River to enrich wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Cost Share: 75% USACE, 25% Local Sponsor (PCRFCD) </li></ul><ul><li>Total cost approximately $4 million </li></ul>
  4. 5. AREA 1 <ul><li>8 acres </li></ul><ul><li>Complete Dec 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>1,060 plants </li></ul>
  5. 6. AREA 2: 4 acres, Installation complete April 2008
  6. 7. <ul><li>35 acres </li></ul><ul><li>Re-design of drainage channels </li></ul><ul><li>Installation Complete January 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>7000+ plants </li></ul>AREA 3
  7. 8. <ul><li>Concept plan developed by USACE and Pima County Regional Flood Control District. </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed project design developed by RECON (Landscape Architect and Vegetation Ecologist). </li></ul><ul><li>Design team had continuous involvement throughout the project and positive collaboration with sponsors and contractors. </li></ul>PROJECT PROCESS
  8. 9. Rillito River Park
  9. 10. Keep the Good Stuff
  10. 11. Get Rid of the Bad Stuff… buffelgrass, tamarisk, Sahara mustard, Russian thistle, African sumac, Mexican paloverde, giant reed, yellow starthistle, yellow bird of paradise, cocklebur, filaree, malva, Bermuda grass, London rocket, cheeseweed, horehound, tree tobacco…
  11. 12. Creating an Appropriate Native Plant Palette <ul><li>Characterization of Existing </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Onsite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At desirable reference sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review Floristic Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value to wildlife species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Container Plants and Seed Mix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is available commercially? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pima County Native Plant Nursery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate flexibility in lists to avoid delays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water usage </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Trees <ul><li>Velvet Mesquite </li></ul><ul><li>Screwbean mesquite </li></ul><ul><li>Blue paloverde </li></ul><ul><li>Foothills paloverde </li></ul><ul><li>Desert willow </li></ul><ul><li>Canyon hackberry </li></ul><ul><li>Mexican elderberry </li></ul>
  13. 14. Large Shrubs <ul><li>Saltbush </li></ul><ul><li>Catclaw acacia </li></ul><ul><li>White-thorn acacia </li></ul><ul><li>Graythorn </li></ul><ul><li>Wolfberry </li></ul><ul><li>Desert hackberry </li></ul><ul><li>Desert honeysuckle </li></ul><ul><li>Hopbush </li></ul><ul><li>Desert cotton </li></ul>
  14. 15. Grasses, Vines, other Small Perennials <ul><li>Ambrosia deltoidea </li></ul><ul><li>Abutilon incanum </li></ul><ul><li>Acourtia wrightii </li></ul><ul><li>Bothriochloa barbinodis </li></ul><ul><li>Bouteloua curtipendula </li></ul><ul><li>Chloris crinita </li></ul><ul><li>Curcubita digitata </li></ul><ul><li>Datura wrightii </li></ul><ul><li>Dicliptera resupinata </li></ul><ul><li>Digitaria californica </li></ul><ul><li>Gossypium thurberi </li></ul><ul><li>Hymenoclea salsola </li></ul>Maurandya antirrhiniflora Pappophorum mucronulatum Proboscidea althefolia Ruellia nudiflora Sphaeralcea ambigua Sporobolus airoides Sporobolus cyptandrus Sporobolus wrightii Trixis californica Vitis arizonica
  15. 17. Irrigation & Stormwater Harvesting <ul><li>Temporary System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plant palette designed to be self-sustaining once established </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reclaimed water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stormwater harvesting basins to capture onsite flow and direct water to plantings </li></ul>
  16. 19. Irrigation versus water harvesting (7 months)
  17. 20. Habitat Considerations
  18. 21. Stump treatment to preserve habitat for reptiles and small mammals
  19. 22. STRUCTURE = SHELTER <ul><li>Variety in types of plants (vines, grasses, trees, shrubs) </li></ul><ul><li>Mosaic of habitat types to meet needs of as many different species as possible </li></ul>
  20. 26. FOOD RESOURCES = seeds, berries, nectar, insects...
  21. 27. <ul><li>Important breeding area for 3 species of amphibians: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Couch’s spadefoot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mexican spadefoot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Plains toad </li></ul></ul>AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION
  22. 28. AVOID IMPACTS <ul><li>Preserve islands of habitat and use construction fencing to avoid compaction </li></ul>
  23. 29. Amphibian Salvage and Translocation <ul><li>Summer 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 600 adults moved </li></ul><ul><li>Eggs collected and tadpoles raised for later release </li></ul><ul><li>4 species </li></ul>
  24. 30. Kino Ecological Restoration Project
  25. 31. Identification and Inventory Prior to Release
  26. 32. Baseline Mosquito Monitoring
  27. 33. Channel Design
  28. 34. Terraces
  29. 36. Plant Installation & Layout <ul><li>Natural-looking patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Individual basins at each plant </li></ul><ul><li>Protection from critters </li></ul>
  30. 38. SEED MIX
  31. 39. HYDROSEEDING
  32. 40. Protection
  33. 41. 5-Year Monitoring Plan <ul><li>Qualitative AND Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Transects </li></ul><ul><li>Success Parameters </li></ul>
  34. 42. Ongoing Maintenance and Monitoring
  35. 43. Invasive Species Management
  36. 44. A Couple of Surprises
  37. 45. Irrigation Function & Plant Replacement TOO MUCH NOT ENOUGH
  38. 46. Thirsty Critters
  39. 47. From straight concrete channels… Photos this slide courtesy of Andrew Wigg, Pima County Regional Flood Control District
  40. 48. To a Moonscape…
  41. 49. To Moonscape with Dormant Plants…
  42. 50. To Mustard Fields…..
  43. 51. On the Way to Valuable Wildlife Habitat...
  44. 52. 4 February 2008 16 December 2008 On the Ground...
  45. 53. From the air… 2006 2008
  46. 54. QUESTIONS?

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