Group plans wildlife-friendly habitat plantings - Etcetera - 9/1/13

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Area summer weather conditions reported in the Aug. 5 Union-Bulletin will have a bearing on habitat plantings supplied by members of Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever 258.

Member Larry Boe in particular is interested in the average July daily highs that were 4.7 degrees above normal and the nightly lows that averaged 3.8 degrees above normal.

It’s proven to be a low-precipitation year, at 68 percent of normal since Oct. 1 and 59 percent of normal since Jan. 1.

In an email to members he added that “this will give us an opportunity to find out which shrubs and grasses do best under hotter and drier-than-normal conditions.”

This fall, they plan to put down two 300-foot tarps in September-October. The tarp intended for Columbia County will be a Dayton High School project coordinated with the school by John Houston.

And the Sudbury elevator site covers 10 acres, so it may end up with two or more tarps. It has been sprayed with Roundup and will be seeded to native perennial grasses this fall.

Shrubs will be planted there in October-November and members will replace losses at other sites as needed, including Woodward Canyon, Frog Hollow, Prater Road and the Spofford elevator.

Deer repellent sprayed on ponderosa pines at Woodward Canyon in April appears to have worked, Larry said. By June, hundreds of Woods’ rose at the site had not been sprayed and were heavily browsed. “They were sprayed in June and show signs of recent browsing, but not as severe.”

There will be some weeding among the planted trees and shrubs at Woodward Canyon as needed and they will spray the pines and roses again at Woodward Canyon, Prater Road and other sites as they see fit. For more details and to volunteer for any of these projects, email bmpf258@charter.net .


Students of all ages are invited to enter the Veterans of Foreign Wars 2013/2014 scholarship essays contests.

Members of VFW Post 992 and Ladies Auxiliary are sponsoring entries at the local level, said Linda McBride in a release.

Themes this year include “My American Hero is ...” for youth essays in third-fifth grades. State-level prizes range from $50 to $100.

The Patriot’s Pen essay theme for sixth- through eighth-graders is “What Patriotism means to me.” State-level prizes range from $50-$700, and national prizes range from $500-$5,000.

Students in ninth-12th grades will write about “Why I’m optimistic about our Nation’s Future” for the Voice of Democracy contest. State-level prizes range from $400-$1,200 and national prizes range from $1,000-$30,000

There is also a Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest for ninth through 12th grades.

In addition to the prizes and awards, entering the essay contests helps prepare students for middle and senior high school and eventually college, Linda said.

Awards start at the local level. First-place winners’ entries are sent to the VFW district level and those first-place winners go on to the Dept. of Washington. That First Place Winner will go to National where he or she will compete with winners from every state in the U.S with the Grand Prize of a $30,000 Scholarship and a trip to Washington DC.

Essays must be received at the VFW Post 992, 102 N. Colville St., Walla Walla, WA 99362 by Nov. 1, 2013.

Creative Patriotic Art Contest entries must be submitted by March 31 to VFW Aux 992.

Entry forms will be delivered to all area schools by Sept. 10 or call Linda at 509-956-8570 or Shannon Kilness at 509-529-4654. Also go to www.vfw.org or www.ladiesauxvfw.org for details.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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