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      Nature Report: Rio Reforestation 22nd Anniversary

      The annual Rio Reforestation is one of the Valley's premier conservation events, and this year's 22nd annual gathering attracted approximately 800 volunteers to help revegatate 20 acres of wildlife refuge land south of Harlingen. Sponsored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Valley Proud Environmental Council, Saturday's event provided volunteers from throughout the Valley with an opportunity to restore native habitat on the Resaca del Rancho Viejo tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Laura de la Garza, USFWS Park Ranger, "Efforts like this, and conservation events that we bring forth to the community to come out here and reforest is just going to make us grow more and more. We are trying to reestablish this habitat for the wildlife of the Lower Rio Grande Valley." Georgiana Matz, Chairman Valley Proud Environmental Council, "We want to reforest the area. Too many things are being torn down, and we are very concerned, the whole Valley is concerned with ecotourism and birding, and it's a positive influence for that. It's giving back to nature. It's giving back what you tore down." Local students arrived by the hundreds to assist with the planting of native seedlings. Ashley Thomas, Student, "There are tons of schools here. A lot of them are here. So it is really good that they are helping out."