Originally posted by Nephalim
reply to post by Byrd
A few questions if I may?
How big/wide are these ponds?
It varies. They're all different sizes. I haven't done an estimate on how much water they hold but (thank you for reminding me!) I need to do
if your removing invasives, what is being put back as cover in its place?
The focus has been on invading shrubs (privet and sweet willow), and nothing's been planted (the light lets grass come in.) Work on the Johnson
grass was just starting, with the mapping of "where is this stuff (all over the place, actually.)" We had been actively planting native Texas
prairie grasses, including switchgrass, sideoats gramma, prairie threeawn, bushy bluestem, little bluestem, and big bluestem. There's also some
'witch hair grass' and dropseed as well as buffalo grass.
What type of trees did you guys plant? Whatever was close by or Waterwise?
The folks are not pleased with the trees planted by the EPA. A number have died, though this may be from misplanting (the plan was approved, it was
subcontracted to someone, who subcontracted labor... probably from the 'day labor' pools and not experienced nurserymen since the trees had to be
put in quickly.) However, they are natives including red oak, bur oak, Mexican plum, Eve's necklace, and cypress (native to Texas.)
I should add that part of the trees in question include an old hardwood bottomland forest (trees up to 250 years old, so we saved but didn't plant
them) and Virginia juniper (grew up after farming ended on the land -- trees are up to 70 years old.)
The things that concerned me the most there were
1. The contaminants
2. The drought
3. lack of a seperate water source in order to sod, grow, and remove.
The contaminants were put in a "sanitary landfill" (basically given the correct treatment) but it's a "closed landfill" and although it's being
monitored for methane and methane's being collected, I'm not sure about the grass planted on top of the landfill (it's a "no human visitors"
zone... so monitoring it is difficult. This isn't because the land is poisoned, but to prevent erosion (people walking around, creating trails,
erosion tunneling into the landfill covering.))
I was going to suggest covering the ponds, planting a type of grass/plants and trees that require less water but it seems money is an issue, Im
assuming this land program began with a grant and the dumping entity is pretty content with not helping with funds for the cleanup.
Oh, the tale of this is one that makes my blood boil. The "dumping entity" is behind bars... was run out of Ft. Worth (next to Dallas) for running
an illegal landfill. He bought the property and said he was going to sell gravel (it's on the banks of the Trinity River, so it has gravel) and
within one week (yes, one week) he had gone to everyone who sent garbage to the Dallas dumps and offered them cut rates to throw the garbage on this
land. Within a month, the local residential streets were jammed with (get this) TWO HUNDRED TRUCKS A DAY!
(This info comes from newspaper reports and lawsuit and documents.) For 30 years (yes, thirty) the people complained but this was a poor section of
town and the attitude was "it's them whiny Blacks again" (I have a real RANT about this that I won't go into.) The dump caught fire twice -- the
fires burned for 7 months (tire fire) and then 3 months. Appeals to the city and state went unheard. Finally the EPA got involved, did the smackdown
on Dallas and made them clean the site up. Terry van Sykes had all his money taken from him and was thrown in jail.
So they did an EPA cleanup, partnered with Audubon, put a nice building up there... and gave them money for a staff of SEVEN people. Luckily they
have the world's finest volunteer coordinator, and there's a corps of about 30 of us who teach schoolkids (we get 200-300 students every week for
our programs) and guide hikes and do citizen science and tend the property.
...and that's the story. But there's no money for much of anything.
Interesting that you mention the "sod and remove"... I have been thinking about the possibility of putting in some sideoats gramma (as a test) in
the muddy areas and seeing if it'll grow... then grabbing it and transplanting it when the rains start.