Curb Cuts! Following the Flow in the Parking Lot, February 2017

In February 2017, Barbara Wishingrad, Sweetwater's Executive Director and Coordinator, was a guest instructor for the Advanced Green Gardener course, part of SBCC's Center for Lifelong Learning.  Her topics were Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Management through Curb Cuts. Curb cuts allow runoff to be directed into pervious areas and filtered through the soil. They can help to direct, slow, spread and sink stormwater, irrigate water wise plants, and prevent flooding. 

Each topic included a lecture on a Tuesday and a hands-on lab on a Thursday. Barbara invited Fred Hunter and Josh Graning-- Sweetwater instructors, landscape professionals and Permaculture designers, to collaborate with her for the labs. Fred did the cutting of the curbs for the cuts, and Fred and Josh helped to direct students in digging and rocking the basins where the stormwater flowed on the islands in the parking lot at the Wake Center in Goleta.  Although this was not an official Sweetwater project, all of our staff participated in the same way we do at our  hands-on workshops and we imparted our model and best practices to the students.


Rain basins are  marked before digging      Students shape the basins      The cutting begins    And continues...      Collaboration is key      Almost there      Gotta make it smooth     Freshly cut and ready to go      Rocking the cut prevents erosion