CDRI Desert NewsFlash
Photo by CDRI friend and member, Alan Wintz.
We are wrapping up our 49th year
and putting a bow on it!
As you know, it's December, and we're in our last stretch to the end of the year, which is always a time for us to reflect on our accomplishments. There were many! The most rewarding thing is that we returned to being fully engaged at the Nature Center throughout the year! That includes our programs -- the half-day educational programs for Pre-K through 5th grades, the Conant Lectures returned to the Crowley Theater in Marfa, and we had a great Saturday workshop about native pollinators led by Cynthia McAllister.
The Cactus Sale and BBQ & Auction fundraisers were shining successes. Our memberships have reached an all-time high of just over 600, and the Gift Shop is fully stocked! You wouldn't think that stocking the Gift Shop would be a challenge, but it proved to be just that. Working with our vendors over the past two years gave us a view into the global supply chain breakdown stemming from the pandemic.
Thanks to the skill and expertise provided by the Central Texas Trail Tamers, led by Scott Newsom, and the additional help from CDRI's volunteers, we now have a beautiful, easily accessible new trail that leads to Modesta Canyon. The new trail signs, designed by Jim Fissel, literally just arrived. They'll be installed as soon as the frames are constructed.
We owe an additional thanks to Boy Scout Troop 42 from Dallas, Texas. As many of you recall, over the 4th of July weekend, they hauled new 5 ft. x 3 ft. metal interpretive panels 220 feet up to Clayton's Overlook. These are the bright, new replacement panels that were installed at the Geology Exhibit located on the hilltop.
The Scat and Tracks exhibit inside the Powell Visitor Center is finished. Recent visitors exclaimed that the exhibit was possibly the highlight of their visit!
The entrance to the Pollinator Garden (inside the Botanical Gardens area) received new demonstration planter beds featuring ornamental native plants. The native plants complement the existing plantings and tie into the recently installed interpretive panels. Another entrance, this one is the main entrance to the Nature Center, was enhanced by four Yucca rostrata donated by Hoven Riley of Comanche Yucca.
What's in store for 2023? We're Turning 50!
We're reaching a new milestone in 2023 as CDRI celebrates its 50th anniversary! We're working on special programs, workshops for the coming year, and some fun Desert NewsFlash articles about CDRI's history. All of our successes have been possible thanks to CDRI's terrific team, its volunteers, the Board of Directors, and you, our visitors, who keep everyday fun for us! We're looking forward to the new year and the next adventure! Thank you very much!
Thank you to 2022's donors!
The following list of donors is current as of November 30, 2022. All additional donations received through December 31, 2022, will be gratefully acknowledged in the January 2023 Desert NewsFlash. Many thanks to all of our supporters!
The Brown Foundation – Donor directed funds from Travis Mathis $ 7,000.00
The Anonymous Family Foundation $ 12,000.00
Frank W. Bracewell Charitable Foundation, Ron Sommers, Trustee $ 73,002.00
The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation $ 10,000.00
Permian Basin Area Foundation - $40,000 grant received in 2021 $ 27,000.00
William Cassell $ 5,000.00
Charles Loban $ 5,000.00
Marsha Stephens $ 2,200.00
John and Jean Dorbandt $ 2,000.00
Robert Viggiano, The Spectrum Charitable Foundation $ 2,000.00
Judy and Tom Taylor $ 2,000.00
Anonymous $ 1,000.00
Melinda K. Jackson $ 1,000.00
Stephen Maus $ 1,000.00
Scott Newsom $ 500.00
Chihuahuan Desert Gem & Mineral Club $ 250.00
John Duvall $ 100.00
David & Phyllis Hardy $ 100.00
Deborah Irvine $ 100.00
Lynn Spivey $ 100.00
Dave Taylor & Janet Greathouse $ 100.00
In August 2022, we held our annual BBQ & Auction fundraiser that proved to be the best yet! Thank you to each of our Education Paddle Raise participants. Funds from the Education Paddle Raise go directly to help produce our half-day education programs for students in the TEA Region 18 served area. Thanks to the generous folks who donate to the Education Paddle Raise, since 2017, we have been able to offer free admission for all of our half-day educational programs for grades Pre-K to 5th, plus any additional classroom hikes or individual programs for students in Pre-K through 12th grades, and for all Sul Ross State University classroom studies. Thank you very much for supporting our kids!
Education Paddle Raise Donors
Jim Martinez & Jim Fissel
Mary K. Farley
Don & DeAnna Strah
Jerry & Susan Pittman
Cecilia Riley & Mike Gray
Tom & Kristin Feuerbacher
Joe & Lanna Duncan
Robert & Lana Potts
Ganka & Kosta Kostadinovo
Barney & Cyndi Dishron
Buck Johnston & Camp Bosworth
Patrick Daley & Mark Morrison
Warren & Anita Shaul
Alejandro & Linda Baeza
Ross & Jodi Cole
Julie & Bruce Webb
Vickie Benitez & Reggie James
Mary & Daryl Styblo
Jane & Michael Marke
John & Kathy Hille
Don Coan & Veleda Boyd
Charles Hummel & Patricia Seifert
BBQ & Auction Host Committee Donors
Around May of each year, we start getting ready for the BBQ & Auction fundraiser that takes place on the second weekend in August. We start at a beginning point with nothing but hope and a plan. From there, our very generous supporters help us fund the event, with each year being bigger and better than the previous year. These generous supporters make up the BBQ & Auction Host Committee.
Thank you to each of you! You're the ones who believe that, once again, we'll pull off a great fundraiser. You encourage and inspire us. All of the Host Committee donors give a minimum of $250 and up to $500. In 2022, those donations added up to $11,300. Thank you very much!
2022 BBQ & Auction Host Committee
Judy & Stephen Alton
William (Greg) Brock
Michael Carter & Martha Atiee
Don Coan & Veleda Boyd
Liz & Rick Culp
Lanna & Joe Duncan
Kristin & Tom Feuerbacher
Jim Fissel & Jim Martinez
Ben F. Foster
Beth & Larry Francell
Pam & Will Harte
Rick Herrman & Margaret O'Donnell
Reggie James & Victoria Benitez
Charlie Mayer & Theresa Guenther
Maggie & Michael McCollum
Jane & Guy McCrary
Debbie & Mike Murphy
Clint Parsley & Alex Albright
R. Edward (Ed) Pfiester
Jerry & Susan Pittman
Lana & Robert Potts
Shirley & Mike Powell
John & Paige Pritchett
Bob Rice & Judy Reichelderfer
Cecilia Riley & Michael Gray
Sheri and Grant Roane
Daryl & Mary Styblo
Bette & Ralph Thomas
Suzanne & Steve Tuttle
Lucy & Bob Ward
Teresa & Jim Weedin
to the Team
In November, we welcomed Ivory Harlow to CDRI as the Programs & Events Coordinator.
Ivory recently returned to Texas after ten years in southern Ohio. “My husband and I fell in love with the Chihuahuan Desert region on a trip to the Davis Mountains and decided to make the area our home!”
Harlow served as Organization Director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, where she oversaw agricultural educational programming for children and adults. She previously worked as a Program Specialist with the Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from Strayer University, a master’s from Ohio Christian University, and an M.B.A. from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Ivory is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
“My favorite thing about working at CDRI is interacting with the variety of visitors at the nature center. It is a delight to see children excited to learn about geology at "The Earth Rocks!" program and adults from all over the world in awe of our local flora and fauna,” Ivory shared. “I look forward to working with fellow staff members and the robust group of volunteers that make CDRI a special place.”
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
December 3, 2022
Please join us for the CDRI Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Powell Visitor Center this Saturday, December 3.
Whether you've volunteered for one hour or 100 hours or always thought it might be fun to volunteer at the CDRI Nature Center, you're invited! Come and meet the friendly folks who make up our volunteer base.
Congratulations to CDRI's
2022 Vital Volunteers!
With its small team, CDRI relies heavily on its dedicated volunteers to help with garden and trail maintenance, assist at our Cactus Sale and the BBQ & Auction fundraiser, lead a Learning Station for our educational programs, help with the Adopt a Highway clean up days throughout the year, and lead garden or hiking tours. Vital Volunteers give 30 or more hours of their time to CDRI for the year. All our volunteers receive our undying thanks, and the Vital Volunteers will receive a special CDRI logo gift item from the Gift Shop.
The 2022 Vital Volunteers are listed below:
Join Us for Community Day
December 10, 2022
The Team at CDRI extends its best wishes for Happy Holidays to all residents in the tri-county region. Thank you for supporting the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens for 49, soon to be 50, years!
As our thank you, we're inviting each of you to the Nature Center on Saturday, December 10, free of charge. Explore and discover the hiking trails, botanical gardens, the mining exhibit, and bird blind. You'll also discover one of the best gift shops in the region at the CDRI Visitor Center.
To all of our area residents, we look forward to welcoming you to CDRI on Saturday, December 10. Thank you for being a good neighbor for all of these years!
Visiting Schools and Groups
Adventures in Good Company stopped by to enjoy a homemade lunch at the Visitor Center porch, followed by a 2.25-mile hike to the Modesta Canyon, Quarry View, and Clayton's Overlook. We look forward to welcoming them back on their return visit in February 2023!
The Plant ID Class at Sul Ross State University's Botany Dept., led by instructor Jeff Keeling, visited CDRI to learn about and identify Chihuahuan Desert plants.
Head West Retreat brought a women's yoga group to CDRI for a tour of the Botanical Gardens and the Maxie Templeton Cactus Museum Collection.
From the Team at CDRI Nature Center &
we wish you happy holidays and a peaceful and joyous New Year!
|Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 905, Fort Davis, TX 79734