The Nature Writers of Texas

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Friday, March 07, 2003

Christina Mild Bio

Christina's articles can be found here:
http://www.kiskadee.org/plants.htm

Christina Mild's weekly column on native plants of the Rio Grande Valley appears on Saturday's Nature Page in the Valley Morning Star, based in Harlingen, TX.

Mild began writing "Rio Delta Wild" soon after the death of Joe Ideker in spring of 2002.
"I lack Joe's depth of knowledge and experience," Mild notes. "I try to make up for those weaknesses with beautiful photos of the plants I write about and a column which is (hopefully) enjoyable and easy to read."

Her own color photos for each week's featured plant were first published with the column when it was moved to section front page in August 2002. Self-educated in the field of botany, Mild has a B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois University--Carbondale.

Years of teaching high school and elementary-level students convinced Mild that students aren't learning what they most need to know: how to coexist with the local environment. "They know more about animals of the tundra than the lizards in their own backyard," Mild notes. "People tend to fear and destroy living creatures which they cannot recognize. Because so many of us

move around so often and all of us spend more time with the TV than with knowledgable elders, we're pretty dumb about the environment we live in."

She began active participation in teaching about deepest south Texas' unique ecosystem as Program Director of Valley Nature Center in Weslaco. She is more recently a founding member and volunteer for Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society, based in Harlingen.

Financially supported by a tolerant husband, Mild now works primarily as a volunteer and spends most of her time documenting and revegetating "Arroyo Colorado Brush."

Her understanding of the Rio Grande Delta's unique plant life depends upon on-going mentoring by a number of people better-educated in classic botany. Among those who continue to explain and eludicate are: Mike Heep, William MacWhorter, Ken King, Dr. Alfred Richardson, Dr. Bob Lonard, Bill Carr, and Max Pons.

"My passion is to have excellent color photographs of every plant which is native or naturalized to the Lower Rio Grande Valley," Mild tells us. It doesn't seem that she'll have reason to adopt a new goal in the foreseeable future.

Mild is webmaster for www.kiskadee.org. Many of her columns appear on that website at http://www.kiskadee.org/ plants.htm. Mild can be reached at riodeltawild@rgv.rr.com.

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