Our Watershed Restoration projects have been sponsored by Partners for Fish and Wildlife as well as the New Mexico Environment Department. We have partnered with the Quivira Coalition, brought in renowned teachers, and contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to create a demonstration site where we are repairing the watershed, teaching others how to design for and repair their own properties and building community around this work. We made this video during one of our workshops. Here you can get a full picture of the Watershed Restoration work we do: Watershed Restoration: The Cutting Edge Workshop.
A crucial element in our restoration work is this new flood way that cuts through a hundred year old railroad bed that was used for coal transport. We installed these water harvesting and erosion control measures in an area where the water historically flowed before the railroad was constructed.
The following text is a bit of the story of our restoration project. We raised money for the needed repairs and the work we have done is functioning wonderfully. It’s changing and growing too fast for keeping updated on this website! Amanda teaches a land restoration workshop every year and we tour this area and use it to learn from.
For a while, there rock and brush structures did their job, collecting sediment, encouraging the establishment of vegetation, and creating a stable location for this side channel to meet up with the main floodwater drainage. But this project was constructed during a period of drought, and no one knew the extent of the flooding that was still to come. On September 17, 2013 a record flood blasted through the town of Madrid, just upstream from us, and damaged the work done here too.
Now we have the challenge and opportunity to upgrade the design of these flood structures. In this new design we will account for the extreme storm events that we can be expecting more of. We will install new combinations of storm water harvesting and abatement structures, and once again, gather dozens of volunteers to help implement this project while learning how to restore their own lands. It’s all about getting water into the soil and regrowing our native wild lands!
We need to take care of this land before another flood makes the damage worse. And we want to keep our learning center up to date so that others can see watershed restoration in process. That means reducing the amount of head-cutting and soil loss and increasing the water and native vegetation in our soils.