Our Rainbow Owl Preserve is a little desert refuge for burrowing owls in the middle of a residential area. Set aside and fenced in, it protects a number of natural and artificial burrows. Last year 20 nestlings successfully fledged from the Preserve.
RRAS volunteers spend countless hours maintaining the property to free it of invasive plants and restore the area to a more natural landscape. This work includes planting and sowing the seeds of native plants. Our harsh environment requires that the plants and seedlings get a little extra TLC their first few years of life. That includes regular watering, on an undeveloped property that does not have any water.
Neighbors of the Rainbow Owl Preserve are incredibly supportive in maintaining this property and have stepped up to help as they can. One of those neighbors was Owen Nelson, a former member of RRAS.
Owen and his wife, Sandy, have graciously allowed our volunteer into their yard to use their outdoor water tap to collect gallons of water. Our volunteer loads it all up on a wagon and carts it across the street to the Preserve where she hand waters each individual plant and the seedling beds. Without their generosity RRAS would not be able to restore this property.
Sadly, Owen has passed away. Owen was an educator and passionate about nature. RRAS was happy to honor him and his commitment to his neighborhood owls on a very hot Saturday morning in August. A painted stone was placed which reflected his varied interests in life - his love of birds, books and bowling, to name a few.
Owen's wife, Sandy, and his adult children, Neal and Karen, were in attendance as well as friends, neighbors and RRAS members. Even one of his former students was there which shows the depth of his character and influence on those he taught.
RRAS is appreciative of the Owens family for their support of the Preserve and will continue to enjoy that support for years to come. Owen would want that.