Save the Swales

Our plan to use the traditional keyline water impoundment system on the property located in the hills above Baras, Rizal, owned by the Samahang Bagong Buhay Foundation, has been postponed until we have firmly rooted trees in hedgerows along the contours. This will likely take a season or two. The reason for this is that we fear the soil may slide if saturated and we do not know what lies below. The safest is to take the slow and sustainable path. We will mark the contours with an a frame and when the rain starts we will plug sharpened cuttings of madre de cacao and moringa trees directly into the thick, deep rooted grass that covers the slopes. When the trees have established an integrated root system we will clear the swale above the hedgerows and plant more trees above and between swales. The drainages will be designed with swales that overflow into the drainage, then concrete faced dams that overflow into soaking beds adjacent with additional overflow into the drainage. Water will be diverted as well into two concrete fish ponds on the lower property.

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