Thursday, April 22, 2010

KNWA captures essence of Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please double-click link to view video from KNWA Web site: KNWA covers earth day at World Peace Wetland Prairie This year's celebration of Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie wasn't much different from past years. But it did offer more activities that got young people involved with the land. KNWA's report captured the spirit of the event well. Of course, weeding, mulching and planting are not equally essential parts of saving the earth or stopping climate change, but they get the headline that allows people to hear the message and maybe dig deeper online and in libraries to learn the importance of reducing misuse of the earth's resources. And touching soil is something youngsters love inherently if they are encouraged or allowed to touch it. The earlier a child gets involved in caring for creation, the more likely the child is to become an adult who recognizes the importance of wise stewardship of the earth. Thanks to KNWA for covering the event. Weeding has to be done carefully because many valuable native plants are considered "weeds" by traditional gardeners. In fact, many of the most important native plants are referred to as weeds, such as milkweed, the widely celebrated family of plants on whose vegetation the monarch butterfly's caterpillars totally depend for sustenance. Mulching is used in tradtional gardens where only selected plants are chosen to survive. The mulch supresses the rest, native and invasive, without discriminating. Without mulch there are surprises every growing season as new plants pop up. The nature gardener has to selectively remove the nonnative invaders but welcome and nurture the natives that appear for the first time. Planting actually should be rare in a nature garden. Such places as WPWP are chosen for protection because of the native base of seeds and roots in the healthly, rich, organic soil.
Please click on image to ENLARGE for closer view of sample photos from WPWP.
PLEASE double-click the image to ENLARGE view and ENLARGE further with your computer's tools to read small type. For more about World Peace Wetland Prairie please see   
PLEASE double-click the image to ENLARGE view and ENLARGE further with your computer's tools to read small type.
World Peace Wetland Prairie is the riparian zone of a small stream that historically was fed by seep springs and rainwater from three directions when the first westward immigrants settled Fayetteville, Arkansas. World Peace Wetland Prairie has the deepest layer of dark, rich soil in its subwatershed because leaves and other vegetative matter accumulated as the flowing water slowed and soaked into the absorbent soil and enriched that soil. Pinnacle Foods Inc.'s mounded wet prairie to the west is the main source of clean water flowing to World Peace Wetland Prairie at this time. Before the railroad was built, water flowed off Rochier Hill to the northwest and from the prairie and savannah to the north of WPWP that has been replaced by fill dirt and paving for apartments. Water from the east and north slopes of the high land where Pinnacle Foods Inc. now sits flowed to WPWP along with all the water from the high ground near 15th Street, which moved north to WPWP before flowing east to the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River. Such remnants of prairie help keep the water where it falls and recharge the groundwater. Like the many similar remnants of such prairie in our diverse geographical area, WPWP and Pinnacle Prairie are the surface manifestation of a significant bedrock fault. Such sunken wetland is a characteristic feature that appears above geological faults worldwide. The Karst map of Washington County Arkansas shows the WPWP watershed in red, meaning that it is a critical groundwater recharge area. Preserving such depressional wetland in our city is the least expensive way to reduce downstream flooding and siltation of our water supply. Hundreds of native plants grow. Many birds and other wildlife prosper on healthy wetland vegetation. And prairie vegetation sequesters carbon dioxide and cleans the ground water.

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