Former orchard being transformed into center to grow native plants
Dec 23, 2010 | 2766 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dead fruit trees have been cleared away as Moab-based Rim to Rim Restoration begins transforming a 30-acre section of the former Mayberry Orchard into a propagation center for native plants. Courtesy photo
Dead fruit trees have been cleared away as Moab-based Rim to Rim Restoration begins transforming a 30-acre section of the former Mayberry Orchard into a propagation center for native plants. Courtesy photo
Work is underway at a former peach orchard to transform a portion of the property into a growing center for native plants. Rim to Rim Restoration, a Moab-based non-profit, is working to convert about 30 acres of the former Mayberry orchard, located about 15 miles northeast of Moab on state Route 128, into a plant propagation center. The group, which works to re-establish native vegetation and support sustainable watersheds in the Moab area, purchased the land from The Nature Consevancy in 2009. The property was part of the conservancy’s 210-acre Mayberry Preserve.

Conservation easements were put in place to ensure that the land “will be used and managed in a way that protects its natural and open space values,” said Kara Dohrenwend, director of Rim to Rim, in a news release.

The conservation easements, held by the conservancy and Grand County, allow the construction of small agricultural buildings but restrict uses to agricultural production and prohibit regular retail sales at the property, according to the news release. 

The Nature Conservancy continues to own 180 acres adjacent to the orchard, including the popular Peach Beach site.

“Rim to Rim Restoration and the conservancy are working together to breath new life into this land,” Dohrenwend said. “The old peach orchard will be transformed into a native plant propagation center, providing seeds, shrubs and trees which are desperately needed for restoration and revegetation efforts throughout the Colorado River corridor and plateau.”

Work at the former orchard site will continue over the next few years as Rim to Rim removes dead trees. General cleanup was completed in September and Castle Valley and Moab residents salvaged the wood from the trees for a variety of uses including winter heat, according to the news release. The gated pipe, which will be replaced by a new irrigation system including drip irrigation, was given to the Castle Valley irrigation company for use in Castle Valley.

At the present time, Rim to Rim is in the process of building a small barn to store equipment and materials necessary for the operation of the nursery. The barn foundation has been poured, and the building will be constructed this winter. The structure will include two side wings for outside storage and shaded work areas. Native trees and shrubs have been planted around the building site to help screen it from both the road and the Colorado River and additional trees and shrubs will be planted around the building after it is completed, according to the news release.

Next year, Rim to Rim plans to install an irrigation system, and two small passive solar greenhouses are planned to house plants that are in the rooting phase and to overwinter some plant stock for spring use, Dohrenwend said. Large-scale riparian plant propagation is expected to begin in 2012.

The new Mayberry Nursery will provide a regional propagation center for riparian and other revegetation plants. It will also include a seed and cuttings conservation area on the downstream half of the property, Dohrenwend said.

For more information, email, or call Dohrenwend at 259-6670.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.