The First Day


The first day is always the hardest, but for this energetic group, it was certainly a quick one! Volunteers from the Arizona Columbine Garden Club, joined members of CAZCA, Desert Botanical Garden and the Tovrea Carraro Society to weed, clean up and prepare the site for future plantings.

We had 12 volunteers and with a short couple of hours finished prepping the small plot we have. At the end, we were all so motivated and excited about this project and the vision of making more native plants and seed available for restoration in our region. Take a look at a few pictures below!

In the meantime, the Gila Watershed Partnership (GWP), was going out native Sweetbush seedlings, collected by staff of Desert Botanical Garden and the AZ Native Plant Society – Phoenix Chapter, to be planted at the right time.

Big thanks to the Tovrea Carraro Society for helping clean up the site as well, and the GWP staff for care for the seedlings!

Planting Day


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On October 26, 2019 we gathered a group of volunteers from the Arizona Columbine Garden and CAZCA to put the first seedlings in the ground and begin this project in earnest!

We were grateful for the beautiful weather and the donuts brought by one of our lead volunteers. Kara Barron, Gila Watershed Partnership staff member, brought with her 75 Sweetbush (Bebbia juncea) seedlings in black tall pots. The morning went by fast as we divided up the work among the group. A few dug the furrows, other’s the holes in the ground, and finally some women worked to release the seedlings from the pots!

We put a total of 31 seedlings in the ground, watered them and used some chicken wire and landscaping staples to protect them from predators. The SSC team will continue to work together over the next few months to care for them.

The seedlings were grown in a greenhouse and will have to watched extra carefully for the first few months to ensure they establish. Once grown, these Sweetbush will gift us with many seeds we can use for restoration!

Our next steps will be to care for the seedlings, and we plan to put Desert Lavender along with the other desert annuals next year!