Is It Summer Already?

The saying goes "April showers bring May flowers," not "April droughts bring May sprouts." This spring, we are experiencing some interesting weather that is making our work a little more strenuous: the combination of rising temperatures and little to no precipitation is testing the endurance of our plants and of our watershed overall.

First, as I've mentioned before when talking about our wetland plant nursery, the early rise in temperatures has had an interesting effect on our work. There have been some nice impacts of this trend, such as seeds germinating and trees budding early, but the early jump leaves a few concerns on our minds.

The second climate conundrum we're facing is a lack of precipitation. When it comes down to it, this is probably the more significant symptom we're facing in our day-to-day work, as it affects all of the different programs we do (ask Masaya about pollution after even a light rain). Normally, in the springtime, rainfall in our area increases, averaging about 11 inches from March through May, often upwards of 16". So far, we've had just about an inch since the beginning of March, and the forecast looks bleak.

April 2012 weather
Where's the rainfall? I only see highs in the 70s.

So what does this mean for AWS and the Anacostia watershed at large? Well, if Mother Nature isn't helping you water your plants, you've got to do it all yourself. We normally are prepared for this when the summer comes around, and we're not able to put trees and other plants in the ground, but this year, we've got a doubly full plate.

Volunteers mulching and watering trees we planted.

Not only have we only just begun PLANTING the hundreds of trees that await us this spring, but we've got to go over all our work sites and water and mulch our trees to make sure they're healthy in these hot, dry times.

With that being said, who wants to come help us water some trees this spring? We'll need all the help we can get!


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