SWEC offers Back by Noon outings to explore region

The public is invited to join the Southwest Environmental Center on an outing, Up Close with the Border Wall. The April 8th outing is part of the Southwest Environmental Center’s spring 2017 Back by Noon Series. Participants will meet at 8 a.m. at the SWEC parking lot on Water Street behind the office.

At 17 feet high and constructed of heavy metal, the wall along parts of the U.S.–Mexican border has to be seen to be believed. SWEC’s Executive Director, Kevin Bixby, will lead the outing to see the border wall up close in Sunland Park and explain its devastating effects on wildlife such as Mexican wolves, jaguars, and even birds. Rating: Easy.

Advanced reservations are required. Space is limited.

Plan ahead for these additional Back by Noon outings:

La Mancha BioBlitz, April 15, 8 a.m.
Participate in the second annual BioBlitz at SWEC’s La Mancha Wetland along the Rio Grande near Mesilla. With the help of Youth Conservation Corps members and a few experts, they’ll try to record every bird, critter, plant, and creepy crawly that calls La Mancha home. This is an outing that will be fun for the whole family. Be prepared to get muddy. Rating: Easy.

Migratory Birds of the Rio Grande Valley, April 29, 7:30 a.m.
Join professional photographer and expert birder Ken Stinnett on a trip to the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, one of southern New Mexico’s best birding spots. Spring migration will be in full swing, so participants have a good chance of spotting a variety of spring warblers. Bring binoculars if you’ve got them. There is a $5 fee per vehicle to enter the park. Rating: Easy.

Reptiles of the Chihuahuan Desert, May 6, 8:30 a.m.
Did you know that New Mexico ranks third among the states for reptile diversity? Discover the reptiles of the Chihuahuan Desert with NMSU professor of herpetology, Niki Harings. Participate in an easy 1.5-mile amble along the well-maintained trails of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park. Rating: Easy.

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Sign up begins three weeks before each hike date. Las Cruces meeting times are listed above. El Paso meeting times, if any, will vary depending on the location of the hike. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water, and a hat. All trips are free and open to the public.

The Southwest Environmental Center is a Las Cruces-based membership based organization that protects and restores native wildlife and their habitats in the Southwest.

For more information and to register, call 522- 5552. Visit wildmesquite.org to see the full Back by Noon schedule.