Reclamation of Orphan Eroded Sites with Volunteers
There exist numerous small, 5-20 m² eroded areas, which are typically along roadsides, behind businesses or on abandoned areas. A good name for these areas are ‘orphan’ sites because they are hard to manage and few people care about them. These sites have little likelihood of revegetation without input. Reclaiming these small areas is a challenge due to very low soil pH, high P fixation capacity, sometimes high slope, exposed saprolite and lack of soil structure. The objective of this work is to enlist local schools, civic groups and environmental organizations to locate orphan sites, offer advice how to proceed, and provide materials such as lime, seed, hand tools, rip-rap and wheatstraw. Preference is given to eroded areas near watercourses. This project was paid for by the Newland Family Foundation with assistance from the Sierra Club Foundation, and has been in progress for about 5 years and will continue into the future. The primary goal is educational but since many of these sites are actively eroding, some conservation work is also accomplished. Participants are also generally enthusiastic about returning to see their accomplishments.