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Planting for Pollinators at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM

May 6, 2016, 10:00 am - May 8, 2016, 5:00 pm


Sky Island Alliance is teaming up with the National Park Service and Borderlands Restoration to restore a recently-burned slope near the main ruin loop at the Monument. Volunteers will be installing native pollinator plants like milkweeds. The slope sits just above the riparian zone of the scenic Gila River and our efforts are essential to make sure these fragile soils are not lost via erosion. All tools will be provided by Sky Island Alliance. We’ll be bending, digging, and hauling materials  on uneven surfaces and participants need to be prepared to get dirty.

Friday’s plan is to arrive at the site and set up camp. Local participants may arrive by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday ready to work – please be sure to let us know when to expect you. We will break into teams and work all day Saturday, April 16th and most of the day on Sunday, April 17th to stabilize the hill slope and install new plantings. We will depart the site by 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 17th to return to Tucson by late evening.




Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is located approximately 2 hours north of Silver City, New Mexico. Surrounded by over 3 million acres of Wilderness, the Monument is an important Ancestral Puebloan cultural site but is also managed for its natural qualities.

Travel time from our headquarters in Tucson is just under 5 hours. Although the distance from Silver City is only 44 miles via State Highway 15, the travel time is approximately two hours due to twisting and winding mountain terrain.

For more information, see the National Park Service’s official website: www.nps.gov/gicl 

FROM TUCSON:  Overview Map: http://mapq.st/1Mxo0Du
Meet us at the SIA office 406 S. 4th Ave at 10 am on Friday to caravan / carpool to the monument.
FROM SILVER CITY: Take State Highway 15 north from Silver City. Although the distance from Silver City is only 44 miles, the travel time is approximately two hours due to twisting and winding mountain terrain. An alternative route from Silver City is along State Highway 35 and goes through the Mimbres Valley. Even though it is 25 miles longer than Highway 15, it is less winding, wider, more level, and easier to travel; therefore it takes about the same amount of time to drive. NOTE: If your vehicle, travel trailer, or RV is over 20 feet in length, you should take Highway 35.

We will camp at one of the campgrounds immediately down the road from the work area (TBD). Due to its remote setting, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is a “You Pack it In, You Pack it Out” area, meaning there are no trash cans available for visitors. Once you see the access into the site, you will understand. Participants are responsible for providing all camping gear (sleeping bag, tent, pad, etc.) and food provisions for themselves for the duration of the project.

Other important points:

  • Bring your own meals for the weekend – a minimum of 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, with snacks. 
  • Potable water is available in some areas such as the Visitor Center. Plan on bringing enough to satisfy your needs for the entire weekend just in case.
  • Be prepared to unplug – there is no cell phone service at Gila Cliff Dwellings N.M.
  • Bring work clothes and appropriate close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You may want sandals for walking in the river. 

Volunteers are required to sign our liability waivers once annually- SIA staff will have extras on hand.  This is a family-friendly trip: let us know if you plan to bring any youngsters and if there are any special concerns.

For more information, please contact Bryon Lichtenhan, Conservation Assistant, at [email protected], or ext 27.


May 6, 2016, 10:00 am
May 8, 2016, 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Bryon Lichtenhan


Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Glenwood, NM United States + Google Map