Celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April with Desert Botanical Garden. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. Learn about a variety of ways you and your family can help preserve nature and be a good steward to the environment. The Tool Shed will be updated weekly. Topics include climate change, xeriscape gardening, regenerative agriculture, citizen science, cleanup projects and more.
Rise to the Challenge
Green Design Your Garden
No-Bake Earth Day Cupcakes
DIY Reusable Paper Towels
Saguaros Under Threat
Spring is here and the Garden is officially in bloom. Fit for an Earth Day celebration, here are a few plants that wanted to stop by and say hello.
Reduce your Impact
2021 City Nature Challenge
Starting April 30 through May 3, Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project will host a 2021 City Nature Challenge. This is a global effort to observe and document as much urban biodiversity as possible while engaging in community science. Using a free app called iNaturalist, anyone can get involved and share their observations anywhere from neighborhoods to local parks. Metro Phoenix Ecoflora is a community initiative of Desert Botanical Garden and the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance.
This is the first year the Greater Phoenix Area will participate in the challenge, which is co-hosted with City of Chandler Community Services and Educating Children Outdoors.
To join the project and participate in the challenge, visit inaturalist.org or download the iNaturalist app. Once you have created a login, search for the City Nature Challenge Greater Phoenix Area Project and join. Then, find plants and wildlife, take photos and share observations with the project. The app will even help you identify what you have seen. Everything you share will automatically be included in the challenge and count toward our city’s total. The cities with the most observations, most species, and most participants will be announced on May 10.
April is also Citizen Science Month and the Greater Phoenix organizers will provide opportunities throughout the month for participants to receive training, enjoy events and learn more about urban biodiversity.
While practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and following recommended safety guidelines, the 2021 City Nature Challenge is a great way to spend time and de-stress while learning about urban biodiversity. Click here for more information on Ecoflora and details on how to become a Citizen Scientist. Learn more about the challenge at citynaturechallenge.org.
The City Nature Challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.
Outdoor activity of the week
Clean Trail = Happy Quail
With spring in full swing, more people can be found enjoying nature and on Phoenix’s many beautiful hiking trails. With increased trail usage comes increased litter and human waste. Practicing the seven ‘leave no trace’ principles is a great way to ensure trails are kept in pristine condition for everyone to enjoy–especially the animals who call it home. The seven principles are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What you Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
- 1 lb. Carrots, peeled, tops removed, cut in 2 inch chunks
- ½ cup Garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ea 15.5 ounce can Garbanzo Beans, drained (reserve the liquid)
- 2 Tbsp. Tahini
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric, powdered
- Pinch Ginger, powdered
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil (try infused oil for more flavor enhancement)
- ½ cup Jicama, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- Toss the carrot chunks and garlic cloves in a small amount of olive oil and season with salt.
- Bake in a covered pan at 350˚ for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until very tender, cool completely.
- Place the carrots and garlic, garbanzos, tahini, salt, turmeric, ginger and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth scraping the bowl once or twice.
- Add the olive oil and pulse to incorporate. If necessary, add a small amount of the reserved liquid from the garbanzos and pulse to achieve the desired consistency.
- Chill the hummus and enjoy with iced jicama and carrot slices. Yield: 1 lb. 12 oz.
Roasted Tomato Gazpacho
- 4 Cans Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 Cans Tomato Juice
- 4 Bell Peppers, Chunked
- 6 Seedless Cucumbers, Chunked
- 1.5 Cup Sherry Vinegar
- 1.5 Cup Peeled Garlic
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
Combine everything into a 22 qt. bowl. Blend with a stick blender until mostly smooth–no chunks should remain.
Be inspired by #EarthDayAtHome with these images from around the world.