Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 PIC Calendars

We are almost finished with our 2013 calendars; post/email if you'd like one, plus we willl be handing them out during January at various meetings, events, etc. and dropping them off at all the businesses and organizations that PIC works with; but we want to make them available to anyone that wants one, so let us know--we'll make sure you get a PIC calendar.

Our calendars focus on our projects and the volunteers that do such amazing work, plus we have plenty of landscape and scenery photos highlighting the unique, spectacular, and stunning public land that surrounds all of us living in Southern Nevada. 

This year we are including a monthly suggestion for a public land outing, some to very familiar places, some to out-of-the-way spots, and some are simply drives.  We also added an outdoor or safety tip to each month and we'd love to feature your ideas, favorite places, tips, so please feel free to share.  If you OK it, we'd love to post your comments and suggestions to our blog or facebook or add to our calendar--for that matter, if you have any photos you want to share, please pass them on; we'll give you credit for any photo we use and PIC would love the opportunity to share what is important to you. 

We will post each upcoming month/calendar with additional information about the outing or details about relevant items like wildflower sightings or (sadly) wildfire reports and may highlight an event or provide a brief description of the photos used.  Please feel free to forward any information you'd like included in the monthly posts; if it is relevant to public land, natural resource, conservation, volunteering, or responsible recreation issues/events, PIC would love to include it.  We want an exchange of ideas and information and welcome your comments and thoughts. 

January 2013 calendar pages will be posted soon; PIC hopes the photos will be enjoyable and the information useful. 

Friday, November 23, 2012


Our V2R2--Virgin River Virtual Reality Geocaching Contest is designed to get us exploring the great outdoors!  Before the days of video games, texting, and all manner of electronic gadgetry, kids used to wander or explore.  Nowadays, even adults are hesitant to leave the paved trail; with Ipods or cell phones, most adults are tunnel-vision focused on achieving their 1 mile exercise goal before on to the next item on their busy list. 
And so the simple pleasure of exploring is rapidly becoming a lost art.  When was the last time you wandered over the little foothill, around a corner, or ventured down a wash---just to see what was there? 
Lately, one of the most frequent questions asked (while we are working at the restoration site) is "Can I go down there?" or "Is it OK for me to be down there?"
Goodness gracious Yes!  Come on down!
So, in trying to find a way to entice folks to explore, we thought why ask the impossible (leave your electronic gadgets at home).  Instead, let's use our gadgets to make exploring fun again--and thus this contest! 
Wander off the paved trail, venture between the wide banks of the Virgin's riverbed--come exploring and bring your electronics!  Cause when you find something you want to share with others, you'll need to mark it 'virtually' speaking.  Take the coordinates--anything that has gps capability--most smart phones--can easily cough up that series of numbers which identifies this exact spot from any other spot on earth! 
Coordinates are either latitude/longitude or northerly/easterly--either set will work.  36.47.42 N by 114.04.48 W (latitude/longitude) or 4076126 N by 760527 E (northerly/easterly) virtually marks my first V2R2 geocache. 
Post your coordinates on our facebook page  There, you've just earned 3 points
That's right!  3 points--because we want you to explore; get to know the river bed, the riparian zone where all kinds of plants and animals live!   
Now, here's how to earn 3 more points--super quick and easy!  Just post to our facebook page why you liked your geocache spot.  My geocache--its a great vantage point where I almost always see quail.  Simple as that.  I like it; it's my spot.  And when you explore, you're going to find your favorite spots too.  Virtually mark them.  Post them and earn points.  Remember, we're giving away some decent prizes--they're not leftover t-shirts from 2010.  So enter the contest! 

And here's a way to really rack up the points---take anyone's geocache information and go exploring--try to find their spot.  It's like a virtual treasure hunt or hide and seek!  You find that spot, take a photo and post it to our FB page or post a sentence describing where you're at---and that earns you 5 bonus points!  Plus, wasn't it fun, to wander, to explore, to find someone's virtual treasure?  The photo (above) is a great clue; it's very close to my geocache spot--now how easy is that for you to go there, take your photo and earn 5 bonus points! 
Any questions, or if you want help getting started, just post or email us at; we'll meet up with you and walk you through your first geocaching experience.  We'll have fun, cause we'll be exploring--who knows what you'll find!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The 'Build Our Mesquite Field Guide' Contest is meant to open up the world around us, to help us see all the species of plants, wildlife, insects, birds, etc. that live where we live.  The Virgin River is a magnet that draws life to it because water is literally the life-line necessary to exist in the desert.  And the Virgin River corridor is home to so many species, ants, lizards, snakes, butterflies, dragonflies, fish, song birds, ducks, quail, dove, rabbits, coyotes, willows, reeds, quailbrush, mesquite trees, cottonwoods, grasses, flowers, cattails, the list goes on and on. 

So why not have some fun and get acquainted with our neighbors?  And better yet, why not share your photos and info with others?  That is the whole motivation behind the Field Guide contest.  From the Arizona state line to Lake Mead, from river bank to river bank (which is pretty wide), those are the boundaries.  While in that riparian zone, snap photos of different species, then post them to our facebook page:  It's as easy as that!  Each post, each photo is a point!

Now, you want to earn triple points?  That's easy too--select a species that has been posted to our Facebook page (it can be one you posted or one someone else posted), get on the Internet or grab a field guide book and do a bit of research.  Determine the common name of the species and post that name with a sentence or two describing that species. 

For example---'Common Kingsnake.  A large, common snake with bold dark and light stripes.  Active during the day, especially early in the morning or near dusk'.  How easy was that?

And you just earned triple points!  Want three more points---this is too easy---just identify the source you used, such as 'National Audubon Society Nature Guides, Deserts' eighth printing, 1994.'  Three more points, just for listing your main source!  You're going to win this contest, aren't you? 

And, if you are extremely clever, you'll go to your teacher and get extra credit or use this for a scout badge--and scout leaders, home schoolers---here's a ready-made project with double benefits--it's fun, those that enter can win great prizes, AND this could be a homework assignment, accomplishing a scout goal, etc.

Oh, and last word--we'll have some fun prizes for some crazy categories--like biggest insect, oddest plant, rarest species......and add triple points if you win any of these categories.  See how easy it is to collect points?  And have fun?  And learn about our neighbors living along the Virgin River! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


We have some fun contests to help promote our project--they all center around facebook, so the first thing you need to do is like us on facebook at

Next, post a little note or photo; anything that you want.  For that we'll send you a fun little gift!  (We'll message you to see if you want your prize mailed or delivered). 

And now you are officially entered in all our contests!  How easy is that!  The person who posts the most on our page between November 15th and April 15th,
 wins the grand prize--something like an e-reader, a digital camera, camping equipment, or something worth at least 100 dollars.  How simple is that! 

The Grand Prize and all other contest prizes will be awarded at our Earth Day Celebration and Work Day April 20th, 2013.  We'll do some restoration work at the site and then move to the Hafen Park pavilion for a great thank-you lunch and awarding of prizes. 

No PIC personnel or immediate family members can win; we will post from time to time, but they won't count. 

You can post anything relevant to conservation, mitigation, restoration, the Virgin River, or volunteering, so if you see a great article on planting willows or a photo of the Virgin River at flood stage, post it.  Bingo-there's instantly a point for you.  (Here's a photo of the river when it flooded in December 2010--if you posted this, you would have just earned your second point--your first point was earned when you initially liked us and did your first post.) 

Future posts will describe our 4 unique sub-contests; the person with the most posts for each of these sub-contests will also win a 50$ prize; second most posts wins a $30 prize; third place is a $20 prize.  The 4 sub-contests are:
  • Build our Mesquite Field Guide Contest
  • V2R2--Virgin River Virtual Reality Geocache Contest
  • Conservation Competition
  • Eco-Cam Contest
Stay tuned, each contest has some fun rules and ways to earn bonus points--they add up fast, so check back soon!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Map for our Community Volunteer Days

While those living near the Hughes Middle School can find the Mitigation and Restoration Site easily, it is a little more confusing for those living outside the immediate area.  Here is a map that should help everyone find their way to the registration table and site.  Bring your smart phone (and like us right then and there on FB) or camera as you never know the birds, rabbits, or other critters that make the riparian habitat along the river their home! (and we have a contest you can enter that wildlife photo in!)  Check back here for contest info or email us at for immediate information. 

Join us on 11-17-12 for our next community volunteer day

The fall weather is perfect for a little volunteer work pulling tamarisks and other invasives at the Mitigation and Restoration Site (south of Hughes Middle School in Mesquite) along the Virgin River! 

The rain storms and floods of late August and September gave a healthy boost to all the naturally growing native trees and plants, but the down side is---all that moisture created perfect sprouting conditions for thousands of tamarisks--and now they are over a foot tall!

PIC knows everyone is so busy; when was the last time you thought, 'gosh, I have nothing to do, nowhere to go?'  Right, that never happens, sooooo what we end up doing is chosing between options:  raking leaves, cleaning the garage, doing laundry, filing......  Well, here's another option we hope you consider:  spend a few hours along the Virgin River, breathe fresh air, enjoy the smells and sights of a wetlands habitat, meet new friends, pull some tamarisks, get some exercise, have a free lunch and maybe get fun prizes for your unselfish act of volunteering!  Doesn't that sound more fun than cleaning the garage?  Mending?  Of course it does!

So join us around 8 a.m. on November 17, 2012; wear working-in-the-garden clothes and shoes, something to hold back the morning chill, and come have fun!  Drive or walk to the Hughes Middle School on Grapevine and Hafen (see map); once you get to the tennis courts, follow the City's paved hiking trail to our registration table, grab some gloves (or bring your own) and a donut and juice and mingle!  Check out our fun contests and such, then spend a couple of hours pulling tamarisks and visiting with friends.  Have a light lunch and then back to that pile of mending, dirty garage, dishes---hey, stay a while longer, we won't mind! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Volunteer Day for the Mesquite Mitigation & Restoration Project

Planning is underway for PIC's next Community Volunteer Day for our Mesquite Mitigation and Restoration Project--save the date!  Sept 22, 2012! 

Raffle prizes, donuts or breakfast snacks, lunch, find out about some fun conservation contests and join PIC for a little do-good time!  We need volunteers to help remove tamarisks, most of them about a foot high, remove other invasives, do some pole plantings of willows and cottonwoods, and help us conduct data collection and monitoring!  More info to follow!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mesquite City Festival

PIC will have a booth at the Mesquite City Festival May 4th and 5th; the event is in the west ball field next to the Mesquite Recreation Center at 100 West Old Mill Road.  Very informal--info about our Mesquite Project; quick activities like 'make a bird feeder out of pine cones and peanut butter'! Learn about our fun competitions--our Community Built Field Guide or our V2R2, Virgin River Virtual Reality geo-cache.  Check out our eco-cam!  Friday hours are 4 pm to 10 pm; Saturday hours are 10 am to 10 pm.  Don't forget to catch the Parade Saturday morning at 10 am--the City of Mesquite website has more details. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

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