"Environmental Advocates" »
El Paso, Texas
The purpose of the Environmental Advocates is to preserve our environment,
while creating educational opportunities for students interested in
protecting the environment. We participate with other local groups in
environmental activities such as clean up days in the
Plans for 2008-2009
- Our ideas for next year are focused on community service and outreach in the El Paso area. Some of our ideas are to get the public involved with community cleanups of certain damaged nature sites. Outreach to surrounding middle and high schools to let these children know that you do not have to be a certain age to protect our earth. We will also be trying to provide more educational opportunities for the students on our campus. This is one of the important aspects of our club that we are always trying to improve year to year. We will also try to provide educational research opportunities for our chapter members with our special seeds project on heavy metal fallout in the El Paso area. This will be a great time to expose some of our new members on what a research project entails by showing them the methods and procedures involved.
Activities of 2007-2008
- Our year has been very exciting with the many events and educational opportunities that presented themselves for our group. During the fall semester in the month of August we participated in homecoming a new tradition for our organization. We decided one way for our club to stand out as an environmental group was to create a float entirely made out of recyclables. Also during this fall semester we participated in two community outreach events one being Franklin Mountains State Park main festivals Celebration of our Mountains and Hueco Tanks State Park Native American Heritage Celebration. At both of these events we helped educate the El Paso community about conservation practices and recycling centers in our area. Towards the end of the fall semester at the beginning of December we decided on a special project for our area and due to the heavy fallout from a nearby smelter in our area we decided on testing heavy metals in flora and fauna in our El Paso Community. During the spring semester we had two major traveling events for our organization one being a support rally at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hearing in Austin Texas. This was a good way for our organization to get gain educational experience in the environmental law and how these laws are used in protecting the surrounding state. We also traveled to an Re-energize Texas conference in Austin Texas hosted by students from University of Texas at Austin. This was a good way for our chapter members to network with other students from other environmental organizations and a way to help one another with ideas on how to educate our student and resident communities on environmental issues facing our population everyday. In the month of March we have a tradition of having a vegetarian day where our chapter members joined with the Vegetarian Society of El Paso to give our student population a taste of something different. This year we served 300 meatless sloppy joes and got some students to give up their meat diet for a day. This event was a success bringing our student population and our chapter members something new. In the month of April we had a whole week dedicated to earth day where we had a theme of everyday is earth day and our climate change. We celebrated this week with a film festival, educational booths, an environmental fair and an earth day Jamboree under the stars.
- Elizabeth Walsh
"Rio Bosque Wetlands Park" Special Project
The UTEP Environmental Advocates helped restore the natural habitat at the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park along the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas. This restoration project was designed to provide habitat for native wildlife, while providing broad community outreach. The Environmental Advocates implemented a monitoring program that included a habitat assessment survey, on-site instruction for volunteers, data collection and analysis for the study of native plants, and animal and water quality in the Park. We created community outreach programs with K-12 school districts from the El Paso County, in order to increase awareness of the importance of restoration and conservation of the wetland habitat that has all but disappeared along the Rio Grande. Project partners included the Ecological Society of America, the Center for Environmental Resource Management, the Environmental Science program at UT - El Paso, the Texas Master Naturalists, the Friends of the Rio Bosque, and representatives from other local organizations.