Every Drop Counts Restoration Dye Garden

December 20, 2009

Saturday morning in West Marin–in between the Redwoods of Samual P. Taylor Park and the National Seashore,  a small group of young and old met to create the ‘Every Drop Counts’ restoration dye garden.  Shaped like a raindrop or a tear, the garden greets those who drive into the SPAWN grounds and offices, and will function as a demonstration for how to slow- spread- and sink rain water that flushes into the Lagunitas creek.  The creek currently hosts the last remaining endangered coho salmon run in central California.

All efforts are being made to mitigate erosion, and build habitat along this creek.  So far this year 60 spawning salmon have been counted– the numbers are up from last year (a year we thought they may not have made it). This rain garden was filled with coyote brush, coffeeberry, stickymonkey flower, yerba buena and buckeye– all of these species will build healthy and deep root systems, promoting the permeability of the soil.  This will in turn slow the water’s movement into the creek, reducing erosion, and the risk of flushing the young salmon fry out to sea.  The co-benefits of saving salmon, healing soil, and creating bird habitat– is the ability to make natural ecological color.

This is coffeeberry dye on a Point Reyes handspun wool, it is just about to be incorporated into a ‘coffeeberry sweater’.

A young coffeeberry just planted into the garden yesterday, it will take some time before it requires any pruning.

A buckeye being well cared for by two volunteers.  Our planting was done by the hands and hearts of a group of young women, many of them came with with the support and help of  Environmental Travelling Companions. A non-profit leading trips in sea kayaking, white water rafting, and cross country skiing, for a diverse socio-economic, and  range-of-ability cross-section of folks.  Their youth leaders came to do the planting– all of them hearing about ecological color for the first time.  A follow-up natural dye class is in the works.

What a day… Young women leaders working to restore lands, hearing visions for a future  filled with environmental action and art… a male salmon swimming upstream… there is so much hope and passion that grows from the sharing of a common cause.

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5 Responses to “Every Drop Counts Restoration Dye Garden”

  1. india flint Says:

    you’re doing good where it counts.

  2. ariya Says:

    thank’s for your informaation …

  3. velma Says:

    it IS this kind of political action that makes a difference, inch by inch. i love it: politics with native dye plants, salmon, soil, and women. an awesome alchemy.


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