Written By: Noe Santos
On April 16, 3 Las Vegas YMF members and employees from the engineering consulting firm Atkins volunteered their Saturday morning for the 2016 Spring Wash Green-Up. More than 350 volunteers in total signed up to plant approximately 3,000 trees and shrubs!
The Las Vegas Wash acts as a natural “filter” as it removes harmful contaminants such as fertilizers, oils, and other residual chemicals that are found throughout the Las Vegas Valley’s roads. These harmful substances are routed down the valley’s network of storm drains and into the Las Vegas Wash channel (and eventually to Lake Mead) due to landscape irrigation and storm events. The Las Vegas Wash benefits the valley by improving the quality of water flowing into Lake Mead and creating a desert oasis that sustains wildlife habitat and provides for outdoor recreational activities for local residents.
Upon arriving at 9:00 am, the volunteers signed in and were escorted to the Wash Green-Up Zone 3 to begin working on the beautification of the landscape surrounding the wash channel. Following a quick demonstration covering the proper way to plant the locally grown specimens, the volunteers worked together like a colony of bees to get all of the provided plants out of their containers and into their new home – the desert soil of Southern Nevada. The task was easier said than done at some locations due to the variability in the conditions on the ground. Volunteers took a gamble between digging up loose, soft soil or gravel ridden topsoil. It definitely made for a morning full of hard work!
Following three hours of digging and planting, the volunteers were all herded back to the staging area and treated to lunch consisting of BBQ sandwiches and delicious hot sides along with a cold lemonade beverage and chocolate chip cookie. The YMF group thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to have a positive impact on the local environment and share in the joys of manual labor. Las Vegas YMF definitely looks forward to participating in the next Las Vegas Wash Green-Up!