Welcome to the God’s Way Volunteer Selection Project update.
In this post you will find information on the Environment Learning Centre road and swale maintenance working bee.
This post contains:
- Introduction to the working bee
- Background information about the swales at the Environment Learning Centre
- Photographs of the swale area at the Environment Learning Centre
- Before and after images of swale site
- Swale site aerial and ground images
- Swale construction
- Swales during a large rain event
- Swales April 2018
- What was involved in the Volunteer Selection Project road and swale maintenance working bee
- Photos from the working bee day
- Terraced rehabilitation site visit
Thank you to those of you who donate to God’s Way and those involved in the Volunteer Selection Project. We are grateful for your donations!
Thank you to the God’s Way volunteers and helpers who did preliminary work before the working bee and to those who took the photographs included in this post. The photographs are collected for documentation purposes so that God’s Way can create procedures and information to share with the world.
During the volunteer Selection Project we involve participants in working bees on God’s Way Learning Centres.
This week God’s Way members, volunteers and participants in the selection project spent a day at the Cushnie Environment Learning Centre doing road maintenance and organising the swale site so that large amounts of waste matter can be easily dumped into the swales over the coming year.
The activity involved marking out, mowing and wood chipping the roadway where there will be high vehicle traffic until the project’s completion; Creating vehicle access to the swales; filling swales with matter from the surrounding area including piles of wood, windfall material and chop and drop matter* from the edges of the roadways.
Over the next years the swales will be filled with matter including waste matter from the local tip (*the waste is free, transport costs are covered by God’s Way). After the swales are full the roadways will be covered with a combination of hard and softwood in order to encourage re-growth and eventually the whole area will become a regeneration area that supports abundant flora and fauna.
*Chop and drop matter refers to flora that can be pruned (chopped) and used as mulch (dropped). Gods Way Learning Centres eventually want to have enough chop and drop matter onsite that it meets all of the mulch requirement for the property. Currently waste products are used that are free or cheaply available in the community as a way to demonstrate how waste can be recycled and used to rehabilitate the environment. Ideally having all mulch and matter generated onsite would be great.
Jesus has great ideas about how to use waste and bi-products. He has done a lot of experimentation and now has methods that are working effectively with beneficial results. He has found that what begins out as waste or waste byproducts and is given initially for free, people begin charging money for when they feel they can create a market for it. In regards to waste this becomes unsustainable to continue to purchase. God’s Way would like to see communities working together using all human waste to rehabilitate the environment.
Approximately 5 years ago Jesus suggested to the previous owners of the Cushnie Environment Learning Centre to construct swales. A group of volunteers from the local community constructed six swales in a low lying area on the Environment Learning Centre. The area has a high amount of water that flows through it when there are heavy rains.
The swales were dug with the intention to be filled with matter and to hold and retain water on the land for as long as possible. The swales hold water on the land and act as “soaks” or “sponges” slowly leaching moisture and nutrients throughout the surrounding land. The swales are intended to hold large quantities of matter and water. Eventually if enough water is held on the land it could help maintain a consistent amount of ground water which would help the land remain hydrated.
Creating soaks and holding moisture on the land is an experiment God’s Way is conducting to demonstrate rehabilitation methods of re-hydrating damaged farmland.
Holding water on the land and encouraging ground water enables growth and abundance. Water is key to life and growth, without water nothing can grow.
Comparison photos of swale site, between 2011 2018
Photographs of the Environment Learning Centre swale site
- Aerial photos before swales were constructed (2011)
- Aerial photos of swale site in 2017
- Photos of swale construction
- Photos of swales during a large rain event
- Photos of swales April 2018
Swales during a large rain event
Swales April 2018
What was involved in the road and swale maintenance working bee
A lot of the work in the swale area has to be done by hand so as not to damage the regrowth and regeneration that has begun at the site.
God’s Way members, volunteers and participants partook in the following on Thursday:
- Marking out and clearing debris from roadway
- Picking up rocks, sticks, debris that may become flying projectiles or damage mowing equipment
- Removing stumps and protruding sticks that may puncture vehicle tires
- Whipper snipping and mowing roadway and swale access
- Raking up the grass clippings to put into the swales
- Chopping up pruned matter and putting it into the swales to decompose\
- Flattening entrances to swales for easy vehicle access
- Removing tree stumps
- Spreading hard wood chip over roadway
Thank you to the members, volunteers, participants and helpers for all the work you did during the day!
Photos from the working bee day
Marking out and clearing debris from roadway
Picking up rocks, sticks, debris that may become flying projectiles or damage mowing equipment
Removing stumps and protruding sticks that may puncture vehicle tires
Whipper snipping and mowing roadway and swale access
Raking up the grass clippings to put into the swales
Roadways cleared and mowed
Chopping up pruned matter and putting it into the swales to decompose
Spreading hard wood chip over roadway
Flattening entrances to swales for easy vehicle access
Woodchip delivery & matter processing
Chainsawing, lopping and chopping trees, saplings and vegetation that was growing on the roadway
Removing tree stumps
Delivering and spreading more mulch
Terraced rehabilitation site visit
The participants in the Volunteer Selection Project visited the terraced rehabilitation site to see how it was progressing. Images below:
Site beginning to be excavated
Until next time,
All the best from Eloisa and the Volunteer Selection Project Team