Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Day celebration today at World Peace Wetland Prairie first in five years with water on the area

The grass will be wet, the ground will feel spongy to the step and there will be spots where water is standing and the central flow area will have a flow today when you reach World Peace Wetland Prairie.
To enjoy the full experience, please wear waterproof boots or shoes you don't mind getting wet.
This is the first time in five years of Earth Day celebrations on WPWP that the seasonal wetland was truly wet. In past years, I had to point out the flow area to suggest people who wanted to plant flowers be sure they didn't put anything that wasn't tolerant of perpetually wet soil and even underground water on its roots in the flow area because it was dry on the surface.

Today, the main flow areas will be apparent.

The sad part is that the flow area has changed in the past couple of years and now has muddy, silt-laden water flowing instead of the absolutely clear water of the past.

Why is that the case?

The Aspen Ridge/Hill Place student-apartment project land was cleared in summer 2005 and silt fences were put up and a nearly complete change of soil on the land began. Silt fences never prevent siltation, they just sort of guide the runoff to the lowest spots and the water undercuts the silt fence and carries its nasty load of fill dirt downstream.

By the winter of 2006, enough impure runoff had entered WPWP to allow algae to bloom in the flow area and the situation has worsened in the past year as Hill Place work began. The result is that the vegetation in the flow area often appears muddy.

The rich black soil is the most significant aspect of WPWP. It makes the magic of wetland.
Siltation will decrease its ability to absorb and cleanse water. And it can fill the flow area and cause it to widen. OR, if the flow is increased by the storm drain routed to the northern edge of WPWP from Rochier Hill, it could wash out and deepen the flow area into a gully.

I hope a lot of interested people show up to see the changing dynamics of site.

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