The UN has declared that 2021-2030 will be the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, because “restoration could remove up to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.” https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/new-un-decade-ecosystem-restoration-offers-unparalleled-opportunity
Beautiful swales are part of ecosystem restoration.
“Swales, as used in permaculture, are designed to slow and capture runoff by spreading it horizontally across the landscape (along an elevation contour line), facilitating runoff infiltration into the soil.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swale_(landform)
Because an ecosystem is a community of living organisms, and because water is the basis of life, an ecosystem needs water.
Adding a swale adds water.
Our local ecosystem has some life, but think about it; in the past 100 years we have paved the ground or built on the ground so much that rain runs off in floods and rushes to the ocean, wasted.
Not only is the ground covered up, but when we build buildings we slope the surrounding area to make sure all of the water that falls on that uncovered space also heads directly to the gutter. Oops.
Clearly 100 years ago the soil captured more of the rain. Now, it captures less.
What is the solution? Just add swales. Swales capture water.
Want some help building swales? Water LA is looking for folks who live in West Altadena to be part of their collaborative parkway retrofit program.
Parkway retrofits transform the strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk from an empty, unused space into one that infiltrates water. Turf is removed and the soil beneath is dug out to create a swale in part of the parkway. That swale captures any water that flows in from the adjacent sidewalk. The curb adjoining the street is also cut, allowing the swale to divert water in from the street as well.
If you would like to know whether your house qualifies for the parkway retrofit program, send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at www.Waterla.org under the “Join a pilot” section or call the River Project at 818-980-9660.
Anyone can attend all of the Water LA workshops. There is one June 15 from 9:00 - 12:00 at 2272 N El Sol Ave Altadena.
Amigos de los Rios also has 10 residential swale projects planned for Altadena from July-November. ADLR already has a list of residents for those projects but you can volunteer and practice building swales. Reach out to ADLR to find out when events are scheduled that you can be a part of. Email: email@example.com.
And you can learn more about swales at monthly Beautiful Bioswales meetings. The next one is June 17, 6:30 PM at Hahamongna. We often make site assessments and/or visit existing swales. https://www.facebook.com/Beautiful-Swales-999988803354733/
You don’t have to wait until 2021 to do your part. Build a swale today on any land you own and help restore our ecosystem.