Would you guess this post is from a city’s metro area of 2.1 million people, with 44+ million visitors each year?
I would. And given which city, I also guessed right how it would be vacant at dawn, even with the coolest morning lows in the valley.
Saline irrigation water and low areas with saline soils can be tough on plants, so desert riparian species are all that’s used here – including halophytes.
MesoWest showed some highs the day before at 116F in nearby Henderson and along this wash. 116 high – 73 low = a 43F temperature swing in one day. Sign me up…for the low!
Funding met savvy in ecoregion and design there.
Exotics that replace native species disturbed or removed include salt cedar / Tamarisk spp. and fountain grass / Pennisetum sactaceum. Natives that take over when the balance of natural controls are removed include Western Honey Mesquite / Prosopis torreyana and Desert Willow / Chilopsis linearis.
An alternate to concrete would be stabilized aggregate, like decomposed granite (DG): that material provides just as much accessibility for developed trails and paths…plus, its crunching sound and visuals support a more wild effect.
Finally, a good use of cottonwoods – a riparian area with much room for rapid growth, aggressive roots, weak wood and extreme thirst, as opposed to a garden or most any urban setting.
Clark County Wetlands Park is not a natural area, but it’s close by.
Someone figured out the connections and patterns allowing human-made riparian zones to better emulate the beauty of the wilds – the few places we can find wild riparian areas in the southwest.
(update…turns out this was designed by a collaboration between my former employer and a civil engineer I’ve worked with…and even another firm before them who did the master plan, who some I worked with worked for…ha!)
Do you have any areas in your area to visit, developed for both sedentary people and those who get out on the trail?