SAHC and Navitat Partner to Protect Water Quality

Hard at work!During the first week of May, staff from Navitat Canopy Adventures in Asheville volunteered with SAHC to install water bars on trails on a conservation easement.  The property, a 231-acre conservation easement protected by SAHC, is located within the Craggy Mountains in Barnardsville and  was protected in two phases. The first phase protected 197 acres and was completed in 2003. The second phase was completed in 2008 and protected 34 acres. Conservation of this property helps protect streams of the French Broad watershed from sedimentation and other pollutants.

By the end of the day, ten water bars were installed on some of the steepest sections of the trails. Water bars are diagonal channels  that are installed at intervals along a steeply sloping road or trail. Their purpose is to divert rapidly flowing water that would otherwise flow all the way down the road and pick up a large sediment load that would eventually be deposited into a stream or waterway. Water bars also control erosion and keep trails and roads maintained.

Because of Navitat and SAHC’s hard work, this property is now an even bigger asset to the protection and enhancement of water quality in the French Broad watershed. Volunteers from Navitat included Sarah Marcinko, Lyman Edwards, Patrick Ferebee, and Estes Shell. Hanni Muerdter, SAHC’s Stewardship Director, directed the work day.