Watershed protection

Watershed protection is a tangible, downhill result of all of our projects. When we protect our watersheds we protect human drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat and out natural fishery systems which we treat and honor as national treasures.

CHALLENGE There were major erosion issues on the property with steep slopes, access roads washing out, and valuable rain water shedding off the landscape in all the wrong places. The Sparks were also interested in creating a more resilient productive property with more biodiversity. Property taxes are high in Central Texas so meeting stringent Texas wildlife exemption status became a core part of our plan. It just so happens that slowing water down, creating bio-diversity, removing invasive species and selectively removing cedar are high on our priority list too.

SOLUTION We spent a week “boots on the ground” with the client clearing trails and hiking the whole of the densely wooded property. We produced an Ecological Resilience Site Survey with the data we collected leading to a strategy that would produce the highest return on investment for the Sparks family. Storm water management, as is often the case, was at the top of the list. With the information gained through extensive observation of the natural “flows” and rhythms we decided on a multi-purpose conservation terrace in the back of their home with a prairie restoration theme. With locally sourced limestone blocks we designed and built, with precision, a retaining wall work of art that now slows and moves the storm waters up hill from the spring below, increasing in-soak and keeping rushing water from carving out ravines in the vehicular access roads. The large, three tiered, storage basin contributes recharge to the spring, provides recreation space for the family and blooms with wildflowers every spring. We also built new access roads keeping vehicular dirt road investments intact with our terrace system. Storm waters have been turned into an asset instead of a liability.

Sparks Preserve — Aerial photo after installation

Sparks Preserve — Aerial photo before installation for site assessment