What is being done?
HomeUpcoming EventsAdditional Resources
What is the Wash?
Coordination of Goals

A look back at Wash projects and events in 2010

As the year comes to an end, it is a good time to look back and consider the many substantial improvements seen in the Las Vegas Wash. Members of the Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team continue to move forward on projects that enhance the Wash and volunteers always play a major role. Several events throughout the year showcased the local community's commitment to preserving and enhancing the Wash.

Year in Review

On March 20, the 16th semi-annual Wash Green-Up occurred, covering 5.2 acres. More than 300 volunteers attended and worked to plant more than 2,000 plants at DU Wetlands No. 2 Weir. Just after the volunteer event, planting for the north side of the weir was completed. In October, approximately 425 volunteers came together to add 5,000 plants to a 14-acre site at the recently cleared land upstream of the Historic Lateral Weir.

Efforts by volunteers have created much needed habitat for wildlife living along the Wash. Overall, revegetation has helped stabilize the Wash's banks, reducing erosion and improving water quality into Lake Mead, the main source of drinking water for the Las Vegas Valley.

Project plans for the Milk House cultural site associated with the construction of the Lower Narrows and Homestead Weirs are being developed for installation at the Clark County Museum. The structure is currently being stored on pallets at the museum awaiting reassembly in 2011.

Although there were no implosions in 2010, material from previous implosions (also known as riprap) was used to temporarily stabilize the base of the future DU Wetlands No. 1 Weir as well as the south bank of Duck Creek near its confluence with the Wash and the north bank of the Wash near the existing Historic Lateral Weir. These bank protection areas are consistent with the designs for the future Duck Creek Confluence Weir and the Historic Lateral Expansion Weir.

Designated to help stabilize Wash channels, riprap is rubble from demolished structures throughout the Las Vegas Valley. In addition to continuing our sustainable efforts at the Wash, material acquisition has proven to be invaluable to its fortification. The program truly exemplifies the trash-to-treasure ideal, and may serve as an example to future generations and neighboring cities. Previous implosions that provided the sources for the concrete riprap are; Nevada Palace, Stardust, Boardwalk, Castaways, Silverton RV Park and Burkholder High School.

Outreach events continue to play a major role in the Wash project. Because of the economic downturn, many established community events were not held in 2010, yet Wash Team members found opportunities to reach more than 11,000 valley residents with information on the Wash. A survey was introduced this year to gather information on how our message is delivered and what impacts it has on the public. Information gained from the survey will assist in how staff conducts outreach in the future.

With last year's reinvigorated greenhouse at Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Magnet School, students get hands-on experience by collecting cuttings, planting, watering and caring for native plants. From that greenhouse, 50 plants were grown and reintroduced to the Wash. Students also continue to tour the Wash and become "scientists for a day." This year, staff added the City of Henderson Water Reclamation Facility to the field trip where students could see how wastewater is treated and then discharged into the Wash.

Habitat remains a central focus at the Wash. Biologists completed a study on bat foraging which included bat capture, bat acoustic analysis, bat dietary analysis, invertebrate capture and vegetation monitoring. The report on this study will come out in 2011 and will help determine if restoration efforts are beneficial for bats. Threatened and endangered bird monitoring was conducted because it is part of the compliance activities required for building weirs along the Wash. Two of those surveys, marsh bird surveys and a survey for the southwestern willow flycatcher, were completed in 2010. The reports for those studies are in draft form. Mammal monitoring, which assesses how future activities will impact wildlife on the Wash, detected eight species along the Wash and small mammal surveys concluded in November.

Wash Green-Up events and educational activities with Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Magnet School are possible thanks to funding from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

= External Link


Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300