This summer, we partnered with Asheville Greenworks’ Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) for a service day on our Robinson Rough property in Sandy Mush. The youth volunteers created water bars to prevent erosion and protect water quality.
The YELP program, funded by the Community Foundation of WNC, “seeks to educate surrounding communities and fellow youth on environmental conservation concepts.” The program trains interns, aged 16-19, with technical training in water quality testing and riparian zone restoration, including invasive species removal, live staking, cleanups, and urban forestry. The program also provides experiential leadership training through service days like the one at Robinson Rough.
For this service day, the interns constructed water bars to prevent erosion along one of the roads on the property. Water bars curb erosion with a berm and swale by slowing the flow of water down an incline and diverting it from a road or trail. Water bars can be seen on many walking paths and hiking trails, anywhere there is elevation change which causes fast water runoff. This activity helped with important maintenance on our preserve and gave the students a chance to learn about erosion prevention, tied into other lessons they had learned about water quality and riparian restoration.
One benefit of Asheville Greenworks partnering with other organizations for YELP service days is to expose interns to a variety of different career types in the field of conservation. We are grateful to Asheville Greenworks and their interns for volunteering with us!