BECY Field Notes
by Stephanie Adams
From the 10th to the 15th the Douglas BECY crew impressed me even more than the week prior. The first week of educating our interns about watershed structures was a success and played a huge roll in Pinary! The interns were able to observe and even repair a few of Douglas BECY’s structures from last year. I personally believe this is what allowed them to understand the importance of the structures they were building and encouraged them to build effective and sturdy ones in the following days. Seeing that our beautiful structures from last year almost looked untouched made me feel like I was truly making a difference with the work we do. I screamed when we saw our giant Zuni Bowl holding up so well!
The crew worked their way up to the very top of the watershed and built Trincheras, Zuni Bowls, and even Stickcheras! They displayed what they learned from the week prior about where and why to place a structure in a certain area of the watershed. The following day we were finally at the top of the watershed and didn’t see much erosion that needed to be handled so we moved on across the mountain to different watersheds and found one that had been previously maintained. With that in mind we still decided to work our way up that one to see if there were areas that needed structure placement, this was honestly one of the most brutal hikes, as it was at the hottest time of day and we were already worn out. But our crew still kept their heads up and pushed forward. They made me so proud that day.
Furthermore, the next day we worked in a watershed that had two large drainages, so we split into smaller groups of 3-4 people to get more done. Even with the smaller groups everybody knew their task and made effective structures! By the end of the day we had close to the whole watershed complete.
Thursday the 15th was an exciting, relaxed day as we took a beautiful nature hike in Rustler. While we hiked Lily helped to point our native plants and creatures such as the native desert lilac, grasses, mullein (lambs ear), and 2 different bee species. She also educated the crew of the importance of not planting non-native grass species because they can become invasive and bad for the land. The hike was interesting, and the scenery had a lot to offer, we were even able to see several white tailed deer!
As we almost reached the top and were taking a break, Lily made a very important suggestion to head back down the mountains as clouds began to move quickly our way. At first a few of us doubted the likeliness that it would even rain but on our way down it began to rain heavily and even hail! If it weren’t for Lily keeping a cautious eye out for us we would have been stuck at the top in a storm. Although it ended up in rain and mud I can say we definitely had an amazing time and I even learned a few new things myself.
The BECY Douglas crew is one of the hardest working groups I know and even since day one, In all honesty, they surpassed my expectations and by far impressed me with what they learned. To sum it all up, this crew kicks butt!