Arid Lands Management Class Watershed Restoration Project

Thanks to the generous funding provided by C2E (Conserve to Enhance) through a grant awarded to the school in August, Sky Islands and students in the Arid Lands Management class are now starting our first major restoration project on the Rogers Commons! The project, which is being managed from start to finish by the Arid Lands Management class, will reengineer an acre and a half of land near the school entrance into a water harvesting, revegetation, and xeriscaped riparian habitat demonstration site. John Litzel of Little John Excavating is a master backhoe operator who understands water harvesting earthworks, and began the groundbreaking and sculpting process. He even let the students try their hand at it! With the addition of custom curb cuts, the space is now primed to capture and store over 200,000 gallons of water per year from street runoff alone, which, once fully planted, will turn this once-barren lot into a lush desert oasis! All that remained was to put finishing touches on the rock work in the basins, and then dig a massive irrigation trench and install irrigation lines, which will be used to establish the new plantings until they can become fully reliant on rainwater and runoff alone.