How often have you heard someone say “I remember when this was just fields and now it’s another hotel or strip mall?” New and ongoing construction is a good indicator of a healthy economy, but what does urbanization truly mean for our environment? What has it eliminated or how has it altered the natural world?
Merriam – Webster Dictionary defines ecology as a science that deals with the relationships between groups of living things and their environments. So how well do you know what urbanization has done to our neck of the woods? Would it surprise you that only 5% of the natural vegetation exists in the Rio Grande Valley. Much attention has been focused to these remaining areas for conversation of our region’s rich biodiversity.
On Thursday, January 30th, from 6 – 7 pm, Dr. Alex Racelis will visit Quinta Mazatlan to present his most recent research, entitled “Ecological Restoration in 95% of the RGV.” Dr. Racelis is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Texas at Pan American. His areas of interest are agroecology, urban ecology and natural resources management. His research was conducted in his Urban and Agroecology laboratory at the University of Texas at Pan American. He will be speaking on how agriculture, urban development, invasive species, and resource management affect certain ecological processes in light of pressing social and environment issues in south Texas (i.e. climate change, food and water security, sustainable development, and social justice).
While new construction and developments are good signs of growth, let us learn about balancing our growth including the natural world. Take the first step towards sustainable growth for as the Lorax says, “We speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”
The Nature Speaker Series takes place on Thursday evenings through April 2014 and is proudly sponsored by Thurmond Eye Associates. The program fee is $3 per person and no advance reservation is required. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset in McAllen, one block south of La Plaza Mall on 10th Street. For more information contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370 or visit www.quintamazatlan.com.