Our campus, Deep Dirt Farm, is home to hundreds of water management structures including check dams, gabions, and other simple rock structures that serve to “slow it, spread it, sink it.” In order to soften the landscape, this energetic 70 year old woman heaves heavy chunks of “urbanite” around and waits for the rainy season floods to come and do the work of raising the stream bed to repair the damage of erosion and prevent runoff. A single large rain event could carry enough silt to complete the task, helping to restore natural water flow patterns and, in turn, support wildlife habitat restoration.
Given that there hasn’t been a large rain event in the past 12 years due to the ongoing drought, these structures represent HOPE with a capital ‘H’. “It is simply a matter of volume or time”, says founder Kate Tirion. “Once the silt fills in behind the rock dams, we will build another layer to raise the land even more until this eroded streamed is healed and the water flows gently across and into the landscape.”