Friday, September 10, 2010

E Friday - at the Springs

In following the tradition of Clare we return again to E Friday, where I post photos of my darling granddaughter E, because VG really likes to look at these pics.

Earlier in the year E and her mom came down for a visit and we took them to the Springs Preserve. Way back before the current round of invaders came to take over Nevada the prior invaders (the “Native Americans”) were living in this area because there was a natural spring and meadows in the valley; even though we are in a desert there is still some water in places. Since then pumps have been sucking the groundwater up, lowering the water table so that the natural springs are not above ground anymore. The area just west of the 15 freeway between Sahara and Charleston is where the springs were, and some of the homes there still have problems with dampness, and the trees grow very well from the higher water table. Some of this area has large lots and fancy homes, and is where the original casino managers used to live, and our current mayor lives there.

The Las Vegas Water District offices are nearby, and they used to have some demonstration gardens adjacent to the office buildings, where you could walk around and look at plants that grew well here, and talk to Master Gardeners about plants and things. Across the street is a 180 acre parcel where the original spring, and current large pumps and water tanks are located. Last year the water district fixed that area up and moved the demonstration gardens over there, now calling it the Springs Preserve. The Springs Preserve web site says “features museums, galleries, outdoor concerts and events, colorful botanical gardens and an interpretive trail system that meanders through a scenic wetland habitat”. Tickets to get in to everything cost $9.95 for residents, $18.95 for nonresidents. Before they opened the hope was to make it a tourist destination, and pay for it all through ticket sales. That never happened – I guess visitors to Vegas didn’t want to pay that kind of money to walk through gardens and see a natural habitat when there are so many more exciting things to do here. But it has become a destination for locals, we go and walk through the gardens (which are free) once in a while and some neighbors have yearly passes.

Anyway, we took E to the preserves, and walked the nature trail and played with the kids interactive exhibits. It was a little cool, so she wore her pink coat, played in the sand with Grammie, and generally had a good time.

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