The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Jubilee Garden to be planted again

Thanks to the wonderful wet weather we have been having, the Jubilee Community Garden in Placitas will be planted again this year. Established in 2001 by the Earthcare Committee of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, the Jubilee Garden was born after the old acequia (water ditch) across the street from the church was uncovered.

The garden’s philosophy, inspired by nature, has been to try to grow good food and flowers organically and ecologically, without the use of industrial chemicals.

Some of the proceeds from the garden are delivered to people in need.

If you want to be part of a group approach to gardening this year and can give back to the community, please call Michael Crofoot, at 867-4558, for more information. Beginners to master gardeners are all welcome.

Come to our workdays on Saturday mornings and our first big organizing meeting on Saturday, April 30, at 10:00 a.m., at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church.


Herbfest in May

On May 7 and 8, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center will present Herbfest, a free spring festival celebrating herbs, wildflowers, and native plants. Herbfest—at the Nature Center, 2901 Candelaria NW—will include a speaker program, arts and crafts, gourmet foods, one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry, children’s crafts, live raptors from Wildlife Rescue, tours of the Nature Center’s gardens, bird and nature walks, and hard-to-find garden plants from Santa Ana, Nature’s Way, and other local nurseries. Call 344-7240 for more information.


Water conservation reps will discuss drip irrigation

Learn from local experts about gardening in New Mexico. Gardening With The Masters is an ongoing lecture series sponsored by the Sandoval County Master Gardeners. On May 2, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., the topic will be drip irrigation effectiveness, with speakers Ruben Archuleta and Hal Scnke from the Division of Water Conservation in Rio Rancho. The lecture will be held at Esther Bone Memorial Library, 950 Pinetree Road (next to the post office), in Rio Rancho. For more information, call the Sandoval County Extension Office at 867-2582.


Create a certified backyard for wildlife

The word on the grapevine is that the property of Theresa Whatley, located in Placitas is now recognized as an official National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat site. The property attracts a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife while helping to preserve the local environment. With the help of NWF, many habitat enthusiasts have turned their backyards into enticing wildlife refuges.

NWF began the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program in 1973 and has since certified over forty-five thousand habitats nationwide, including more than two thousand schools and hundreds of business and community sites. Any habitat enthusiast can create a backyard habitat and learn the rewards of “gardening for wildlife.”

The program teaches the importance of environmental stewardship by providing basic guidelines for making landscapes more hospitable to wildlife. Habitat restoration is critical in urban and suburban settings where commercial and residential development encroaches on natural wildlife areas. Changing landscapes to attract more wildlife enhances the quality of the environment by improving the air, soil and water throughout the community and promotes common-sense conservation by reducing or eliminating the need for fertilizer, pesticides or irrigation water.

Home owners profit because realtors will promote the certified status of homes for sale as an added selling feature. It’s an attractive element to potential buyers looking to share their landscape with Mother Nature. Backyard Wildlife Habitats provide a source of solace, comfort, and confidence in the future, protecting the natural beauty of places we love and the wildlife they support.

NWF has received countless testimonials from participants who find their efforts to create a habitat not only rewarding, but fun for the whole family. As one participant wrote, “I am a beginner, but judging from the many birds, squirrels, butterflies and rabbits, along with the flowers blooming everywhere in my yard, I must be on the right track.”

Few people understand how just one person can make a difference. Craig Tufts, chief naturalist for NWF, says, “There is much each of us can do for the environment as we care for our piece of the Earth. Building a habitat is one example of how a single person or family can do something that can have a long-term positive impact.” Persuading your neighbors to join with you can lead to a neighborhood or community habitat that provides wildlife with greater incentive to call your “piece of the earth” home.

Certification includes a one-year membership in the National Wildlife Federation, and members receive issues of the award-winning National Wildlife magazine bimonthly. NWF also offers Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife, the most comprehensive guide to date on gardening for wildlife, by David Mizejewski, manager of NWF’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat program. The 128-page is full of practical how-to information to make your yard a wildlife haven and shows how to have your property officially certified by NWF as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site. The book, along with information on getting certified online and loads of other habitat information is available at The book can be ordered by calling (800) 900-2656.




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