The area used by Kachina Village for wastewater evaporation, affectionately known as the Kachina Wetlands, is an exciting hotspot for birding. Although the area is only 70 acres in size, the e-Bird database indicates that 203 species of birds have been recorded at this site since 2004. That is amazing diversity for such a small area! Of these species, 65 are wetland-associated species that would not be present without the ponds. The evaporation ponds were enhanced for water birds in 1994-95 through grants from Ducks Unlimited and the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund. Over the years, however, the Kachina Wetlands have become over-run with invasive weeds, primarily diffuse knapweed. Many local groups, including NAAS, have sponsored weed-pulling events in an attempt to manage the invasive weed problem. However, the problem has become so severe that substantial funding and a multi-year effort is needed that includes not only weed eradication, but re-establishment of native species.
With input and expertise from numerous individuals, Northern Arizona University developed a Ten-Year Enhancement Plan for the Kachina Wetlands to not only manage weeds, but provide opportunities for wildlife habitat enhancement and environmental education opportunities. This plan will serve as a foundation document when applying for grants from federal and state agencies. We encourage members of NAAS to take a look at the plan and become involved in its implementation. For further information about the plan, please contact Christina Vojta at email@example.com. Christina will be discussing the Kachina Wetlands at our general meeting in November.