Places We Live: School on Wheels High School
Joanne McEntire of Querencia Green joined partners from School on Wheels High School in the South Valley and the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM) to install a water harvesting project with educators and students.
As part of the Places We Live program with EEANM in Albuquerque, Joanne developed a site assessment and design for a small area near a portable classroom building. The workshop was focused on installing a bio-retention basin. A crew of students, from Jimmy Carter Middle School and School on Wheels, and educators enjoyed a brisk fall day to practice techniques and complete the project. Beneficial results include new plants, Desert Willow and Autumn Sage, and an expansion of the outdoor learning environment at the school.
The students contributed to the environmental improvement of their community and learned new skills that can be applied at schools and other outdoor areas. The educators hope to create more water harvesting projects with healthy plant and soil life at their schools.
This program was made possible by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
Rainwater Harvesting and Green Infrastructure Demonstration Program 2013 – 2015
In 2013, funding became available to support neighborhood teams to identify opportunity sites and develop design plans for rainwater harvesting and green infrastructure. Querencia Green was honored to work in two unique neighborhoods: Calle del Pajarito in the Village of Los Ranchos, and partners in La Mesa Neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque.
Calle Del Pajarito Neighborhood
Located in the North Valley, in the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, the neighborhood consists of a cul-de-sac street with 18 residences and three commercial / public properties. The neighborhood has to cope with summer floods and ponding. Team activities with the neighborhood included a workshop with fifteen people. Neighbors observed the entire street during a walk, and indicated their interest in several sites for design work: the entire street with its wide dirt shoulders and driveways, the street corner, and the commercial and public properties at the corner.
Querencia Green hired Kurt Capalbo, a UNM Landscape Architecture graduate student, to provide designs for three areas near the corner: two on the public right-of-way and one on a public site owned by the NM Department of Transportation (NMDOT). The designs define infiltration trenches with xeric plants, porous paving stones with oak trees in structural soil, and a gabion wall with plants. The neighbors were involved in meetings to select the areas to be designed, review design work, and present the green infrastructure solutions to the Village of Los Ranchos’ Mayor and Trustees. Design plans were completed in late 2013.
La Mesa Neighborhood Garden Park
La Mesa Neighborhood Garden Park was envisioned by a group of community leaders for a vacant site on the corner of Copper Ave NE and Espanola St. NE, near La Mesa Elementary School. The neighborhood is located on the eastern mesa, or Heights, where urban land uses dominate. Querencia Green joined the team to support the design of the site with beneficial uses of stormwater.
Querencia Green hired UNM Landscape Architecture graduate student Alicia Petersen to develop the design drawings, and we held a workshop with team members. The group analyzed the opportunities for rainwater harvesting on the site. The team leaders reviewed and accepted the contouring plan that defined areas for three basins, which were then supplemented with the locations and identification of appropriate plants and materials.
Site work to mark boundaries and move dirt got underway in the Spring of 2014. The Garden Park’s team founders continue to develop the site with work parties and many supportive partners.
This program was made possible by Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District and US EPA Urban Waters. Thank you.
News about local water harvesting projects, classes, and the people who are creating green spaces with rainwater are featured in Blog & News.
Check out the key steps of an earthworks installation with the Water Harvesting Certification Course crew in 2014.
Past Projects 2011 – 2012
Green Infrastructure Walk
Querencia Green co-sponsored a walking session with the Huning Highlands Neighborhood to explore opportunities for using stormwater to improve the local environment and reduce water pollution in the Rio Grande. Green Infrastructure (GI) techniques slow down, store and use stormwater: rainwater catchment and replacing impermeable pavement in driveways and parking areas with permeable pavers are two of the techniques. Querencia Green recognizes that GI can support neighborhood livability and increase sustainability practices related to food production, neighborhood beautification, and energy conservation. See more on our blog.
Topbar Beehive Workshop
View a slide show of the Topbar Beehive Workshop that Tami Brunk organized in 2012. Jessie Brown facilitated. Workshop photos by UNM intern Daniel Vance.
Querencia Green developed a successful grant proposal to PNM to weatherize the drafty garage door of the Hood Gas Station and to sponsor a Weatherization Workshop with Priscilla Remke in 2011.