RESTORATION: Mini-Bioswale Planting Along Ackerman Creek

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As part of our work with the EPA Clean Water Act 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, we recently planted a mini-bioswale near a vineyard along Ackerman Creek. A team of four of us worked together on the project including our Director Zack, Water Quality Specialist Ilena, our GIS Specialist Xavier and Restoration Specialist Gabe. Xavier used his GIS skills to locate an area across Ackerman Creek that fell within the Pinoleville Pomo Nation boundary. From there we identified plants from our Restoration Nursery, loaded up our gear and headed to the creek to begin the process.

After identifying the spot and determining the plants, we had to prepare the area. The spot Xavier found worked perfectly as it sat directly below a neighboring vineyard. The four of us began digging a 25-foot path that would ultimately become the bioswale. We continued digging the path down almost a foot to help the bioswale trap runoff and rain water so the plants could remove silt and surface runoff water pollution. With the sides gently sloped and all crab grass and non-native vegetation removed, we began planting. Six different native plants comprised the bioswale including two kinds of willow, dog bane, wild rose, juncus patens, cottonwood and alder wood. We planted juncus patens along the edge of the bioswale for added stability while we planted dog bane in the center for its ability to limit pollution. We further secured the edges with wild rose and willows. Closer to the riparian zone we planted cottonwood and alder wood also.

To finish off the restoration project we layered jute netting along the edges of the bioswale for erosion control and stability. Native grass and flower seeds were also added to complete the project. We look forward to monitoring the growth of our latest endeavor in the coming months, which should ultimately help control nonpoint source pollution management in that area as well as the water quality of Ackerman Creek.