On Tuesday, a team of volunteers from Osprey, High Desert Conservation District, Mancos Conservation District and Montezuma Land Conservancy teamed up with Karelia Ver Eecke, Dolores County Gunnison sage grouse habitat coordinator, to install Zeedyk structures to reinforce the waterway.
According to Ver Eecke, the volunteers installed 14 of the 20 Zeedyk structures they were hoping to install. These structures, which are made of rocks, help prevent soil erosion and slow excess water.
“It was a great day, and the volunteers accomplished a lot of great work,” Ver Eecke said.
Their goal was to add 18 Zeedyk structures, adding to the 35 that were built by Southwest Conservation Corps on another property.
Before installing these structures on local property, Ver Eecke sends volunteers an instructional video to help them understand how to properly build and place the new structure.
“We’ll build a structure altogether so that everyone can see how it works, and then the day is really physical. Some of these rocks are smaller like cobble size but most of them weigh between like 15 and 40 pounds. So, we’re moving those with wheelbarrows, we’re digging the trenches and placing footers, we're building the one-rock dams, which are erosion reduction and grade control structures that slow the water down and build the bottom of the channel up again so you're not seeing so much soil loss,” Ver Eecke said.
Members of the community who wish to volunteer for future projects can contact Ver Eecke at email@example.com.
Ver Eecke also offers a monthly newsletter called The Sage Boom that gives updates on local issues that involve conservation, habitat and more.
“The Sage Boom is the update about what's happening with the work that I am doing and that partners might be doing. It’s a little bit about wildlife on the sagebrush steppe. So it might be about Gunnison-sage grouse or deer and elk or soil health. Just kind of give people an update. And it's local,” Ver Eecke said.