Water is the magical fairy dust of the desert. Every drop counts. A hearty group of volunteers installed additional watershed restoration structures out on the desert in October, during a training workshop organized by the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. We work with our neighbor Santa Margarita Ranch and the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance at a site called the Elkhorn / Las Delicias Watershed Restoration Project.

Carefully placed rock structures slow down the movement of soil and water to encourage more productive and diverse plant communities — ultimately the enhanced vegetation does the real work! Four expert watershed artisans Bill Zeedyk, Steve Carson, Brad Lancaster and Craig Sponholtz taught students from Arizona, California and New Mexico how to plan and build these projects.

Elkhorn’s water harvesting work is at rural landscape scale, but people can apply the same principles in their own backyards. Brad challenges people to “plant the rain,” and we are grateful to these great student / volunteers who helped harvest water, conserve soil and encourage vegetation growth out on the South Desert!