Wednesday is the day that EDSET (Environmental Design, Science , engineering and Technology) Students from Albany highschool come to the garden to work on various projects. Today they are installing steps in one of our steep slopes that lead to the creek. The steps are made from our garden's downed redwood and pine trees and they have hand hewn with broad axes.
Between two redwoods is a path to a tributary of Cerrito creek. Over time the path has eroded and become very steep. Lucas, Nolan, and Kian, Albany High School intern students from the EDSET program (Environmental Design, Science and Engineering Technology) have been hand hewing downed redwood lumber to put in risers for steps to make it easier to get to the bench site overlooking the creek.
tunnel is nearing completion. While two of our volunteers, Peter S. and Peter K., were working, some local kids gave it a try. [media id=17 width=320 height=240]
In order to direct water from our dirt road and into the creek, Jesse, one of our work-study students, is continuing a big project that was started last semester by work-study student Nathan. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you will find Jesse working on a swale lined with Glauconite schist, a blue-green metamorphic stone that is found on the property.
Students from the Albany High School's EDSET program (Education in Design, Science, And Environmental Technologies) are back this semester and are regrading a slope with materials from the garden. They are using an ancient process called hugelkulur which is new to us and was developed in Austria. By burying clean lumber scraps, prunings, aged firewood, soil and sawdust we are accomplishing two objectives: building the soil with organic materials and preventing waste from entering the waste stream. You can top this pile with 6" to 12" of withs material such as leaves, grass-clippings, a layer of finished compost, and 1" of soil and then plant into the pile. The hugelkultur description also includes alfalfa pellets as a source of nitrogen, but since our pile's prime function is for regrading and not for vegetable plantings we are not including the pellets.
Yesterday afternoon work resumed on the Bamboo tunnel in the Australian Hollow. Peter K. & Peter S. met at noon and started splitting bamboo. Later in the day they were joined by LAEP work-study student Jesse and another volunteer, Taylor.
Today work began on a bamboo tunnel-sculpture in the Australian Hollow. Peter Komfolio, Roky Truong, James Piacentini and Danielle Celestino (UCB students from Education 190 class) were joined by Garden volunteer Peter S.
Master and Undergraduate students in Landscape Architecture 101 class taught by Daphne Edwards and Tim Mollitt-Parks work in garden this time of year within a 4 week project entitled "Revealing the Landscape". Each student is asked to look for a site within the garden that he or she can "reveal" with a temporary installation or intervention. The response could be to a space, a view, a quality, or specific objects.. Materials choices are also a student decision. Some images from this year's LA 101 "Revealing the Landscape" project at Blake Garden: An in-progress walkabout video-montage: [media id=16 width=320 height=240]
Today we finished the retaining wall supporting the culvert. The wall building is done. Next, a drainage swale will be added on the north end to direct water from the road into the creek. We will also finish the south edge of the culvert wall with large rocks from the garden. Once we have a master plan and do the renovations to the top of the creek we will plant some native riparian species of plants under the large leaf maples and redwoods that grow in that area.
Our creek restoration project continues... Last Friday we started working on the culvert near the head house. We began by excavating the old concrete pieces around the old culvert that was originally installed during the 1970's. Over time projects like this need maintenance. We reused some of the old concrete and continued building with recycled concrete pieces donated by one of our volunteers, Celia. Behind the concrete pieces we sandwiched a geo-textile to prevent erosion. Darryl & Alex, work-study students from the Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning program, Anastasia from UC Media Studies and volunteers Peter and Sid, a UC engineering student helped with the project. At the time of this posting we are half way there. Next Friday we will try to install the upper courses of the wall, and re-grade the road above.