Dirt from the Field: January, 2011

Here’s wishing you all a great 2011!  I hope your holidays were great.  I also hope that last storm of 2010 didn’t cause a lot of problems for you. Since the last time I wrote, we’ve had some pretty significant weather.  The rains that came before, during, and after Christmas caused Granite Creek to flow at over 400 cfs.  Cfs means cubic feet of water per second.  So, we had over 3,000 gallons per second flowing out of the creek.  That’s not a huge amount of water, but considering we had just finished our construction and vegetation work the previous week, and the 3,000 plantings have no roots yet to hold themselves down and to strengthen the new creek banks, it was a concern.  I got back from visiting friends and family in California on December 27, and went out to inspect the woods the next morning.  What I found was that the creek had flowed out of its banks in some areas like we want and that no damage to the recent work occurred like we REALLY want!

The latest cold and snowy weather has not caused nearly so much flow in the creek and if we don’t get sudden melting from a warm rain we don’t anticipate much trouble.  The snow will slowly melt and be captured in the ground.

After the work that was done by the A.C.E. crew in December, there’re still some additional jobs that need to be taken care of.  Some more geotextile cloth needs to be laid, some newly planted trees still need topping, some of the areas disturbed by earth-moving equipment need raking and seeding, and some of the new stream banks need brush revetment.  As we start working on these items (as weather and time permit) we’ll put volunteer requests on the website so, if you’re interested, check out the “volunteer” link for opportunities to work in the field.

I’ll close with a word about the coming year.  Prescott Creeks wants the Watson Woods to be a place of natural beauty and ecological health that we all can enjoy.  As we move on from the major construction and revegitation work of the last three years, we want to start building trails and adding interpretive signs.  We hope to build a parking area and trail head at the Rosser St. – Hwy. 89 intersection to make it easier to access the woods.

We also hope to start an effective invasive weed control program to stop the spread of non-native plant species.  So, there’s lots of work left to do.  I hope to see you out there as we take on the next challenges.

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