Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Better birding near Las Vegas

Not many birders think of Lost Wages as a birding destination, but those of us who visit Sin City can enjoy better birding at the Bird Viewing Preserve in nearby Henderson before the end of this year.

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From the Las Vegas Sun:
Since its creation in 1998, access to the preserve has been through a gate shared with the neighboring Water Treatment Facility, which requires a secure entrance. Visitors to the preserve had to buzz in at the gate, explain that they wanted to visit the preserve and wait for security to open the gate.

But in a package of improvements the Henderson City Council unanimously authorized for bids Tuesday night, the bird preserve will be getting its own access road and a number of other additions built with bird enthusiasts in mind.

"(The gate) makes it kind of difficult because, for security reasons, we have to buzz people in and it's very inconvenient," Henderson Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Kim Becker said.

In addition to the new access road, which will enter the preserve near the Henderson Animal Shelter on Galleria Drive, Becker said, the city also plans improvements, including walkways, seating and bird blinds, that will make it easier for visitors to watch birds.


Work on the preserve is expected to begin in the coming weeks and be completed by November, Becker said.

Becker said the project is partially in response to surveys in which residents have expressed strong interest in additional outdoor recreation facilities and programs.

"What we're seeing is that more and more people are going to facilities like the bird preserve or the Acacia Demonstration Gardens to get that feeling of being out in nature and away from the city," Becker said.


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