courtesy Karen Reichhardt

The Plant Atlas Project is an ongoing effort to catalogue Arizona’s native vegetation.

Upcoming winter rains will offer a window to collect some of the flowering plants needed for that inventory.

At first glance, the southwestern corner of Arizona might not seem like a great place to study plant life.

Amanda Solliday - KAWC

For the 25th year, the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival brings together dozens of balloonists in Yuma Nov. 20-22, 2015.

For KAWC, reporter Amanda Solliday flew with pilot Katelyn Salazar in her balloon, Sky Magic, during the first launch of the festival.

See the schedule of events here:

Amanda Solliday - KAWC

A congressional hearing held Nov. 18 examined a bill to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The fund was first established in 1965 to support conservation and outdoor recreation programs. It lapsed in September without legislative action.

Amanda Solliday - KAWC

More than 150 lettuce growers and researchers are gathering this week in Yuma to discuss a soil-borne fungal disease that damages lettuce crops in the United States and abroad.

The international conference is hosted by the University of Arizona’s Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture.

Mike Matheron is a plant pathologist and professor at the University of Arizona. Matheron is leading a test in this field to see which varieties of lettuce withstand the disease.

Water issues fill the agenda for the Arizona Town Hall meeting in Mesa Nov. 15-18.

The meeting is a statewide effort to draft a report addressing water resources in the state, including recommendations for future use.

Arizona Town Hall participants will collectively address questions such as “How well has Arizona managed the use of water?” and “What actions would have the most beneficial impact on Arizona’s water needs?”