Meeting Location: Desert Botanical Garden – Dorrance Hall

Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m

Presenter: Steve Plath

Steve Plath worked for the Gila Watershed Partnership (GWP) in Safford, AZ, for five years and was the manager of the Gila Native Plant Nursery during that time.  The nursery produces native plants for the organization’s habitat restoration work on the Upper Gila River as well doing contract growing of material for agencies and other conservation organizations.  Prior to going to GWP Steve, along with his wife Julie, ran Signature Botanica in Morristown (Wickenburg), AZ.

Steve has been growing native plants for revegetation and implementing ecological restoration projects throughout the desert southwest since 1994.  As a cactus and succulent hobbyist Steve obtained his first cactus at the age of 12 and has enjoyed growing, propagating, exhibiting, judging cactus in succulent shows and observing cacti in habitat throughout the desert southwest and Mexico for more than 50 years.  He is also a past-president and board member of the CACSS and has served on the boards of the CSSA and numerous other affiliated societies.

Steve and Agave parryi

Presentation: Supporting the Mutual Affair of Agaves and Bats

The Bat Conservation International (BCI) recently began an initiative to enhance habitat for the Lesser long-nosed bat in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.  The Lesser long-nosed, along with two other North American bat species, are primarily nectar feeders, relying on cactus and agave flowers to supply their energy needs during their annual migration between the US and Mexico.  In 2019 BCI contacted the Gila Native Plant Nursery to grow thousands of native agaves (Agave palmeri and Agave parryi) for planting at strategic locations along the migratory paths of these bats.  This presentation will illustrate the unique blend of combining horticulture, plant production and field implementation with a targeted focus for conservation of an animal species.

Pictures below:

  • Agave planting
  • Agave palmeri