Join the UA softball team at Beat Back Buffelgrass Day on Saturday, Jan. 26by Pima County News on Jan. 14, 2013, under Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson
The University of Arizona softball team will again join volunteers across Pima County to pull buffelgrass on Saturday, Jan. 26. The UA team and their friends will volunteer with at Kennedy Park, at South La Cholla Boulevard and West Ajo Way. Pima County Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation (NRPR) staff will be coordinating efforts at the park.
“I’m overwhelmed by the response from our athletic family at the U of A,” says Softball Coach Mike Candrea. “We want to get more young people involved to see the impact that we can have on our environment.” Each winter, hundreds of volunteers work to pull buffelgrass from neighborhoods, parks, and other public land, helping reduce fire danger in the summer.
Buffelgrass threatens Sonoran Desert wildlands and urban areas. To combat this invasive weed, the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Center (SABCC) has organized the sixth annual Beat Back Buffelgrass Day. From Sahuarita to the Catalina Foothills, there are volunteer sites throughout Pima County. To see all the volunteer sites and sign up to help, visit: http://www.buffelgrass.org/beat-back-buffelgrass-day-sites
Buffelgrass spreads rapidly and burns hot enough to melt aluminum at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. Buffelgrass fires move at a rate of three feet per second, fast enough to burn a football field in three minutes.
Native vegetation, unaccustomed to fire, is permanently destroyed while the buffelgrass recovers quickly. As buffelgrass colonizes more areas, native plants and animals are displaced and the threat of fire increases across the landscape.
SABCC needs your help. It is amazing what a group of citizens can do by putting in a few hours of work. In 2012, the 850 Sonoran Desert Weedwackers joined Pima County’s NRPR staff and worked over 3000 hours clearing out buffelgrass on the cholla-covered slopes of Gate’s Pass Overlook and on slopes west of the Marriott Starr Pass Resort.
A dedicated group of volunteers from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum routinely clear the slopes around the Museum. A lone weedwacker, working several times a month, is keeping the buffelgrass from taking over Robles Pass Park. At the Federal Volunteer Pay Rate of $21.80 per hour, they provided a combined value of $63,000 for their time.
Come do your part. Help out for a few hours on Beat Back Buffelgrass Day, get great exercise and have fun with your friends and the Team. Sign up now at www.buffelgrass.org.