SNOWFLAKE WASH TRAILS AND PATHWAYS
A HISTORY IN PICTURES
Work in 2017 focused on upgrading the lower Wetlands Pathway and wetlands meadow area.....
(1) ^ ^ ^ Extensive bulldozing in the lower wetlands areas of the greenbelt damaged sections of the Wetlands Pathway and also the wetlands meadow area. Cleanup and repair work became a focus of the work in 2017.
(2) ^ ^ ^ One of the first tasks was to do a general cleanup of the area. This was partly for fire safety concerns and also to keep the greenbelt looking as natural as possible. The recent repair work on the service road through the greenbelt allowed for trailer access which helps to facilitate the maintenance of the area.
(3) ^ ^ ^ Many trailer loads of dead branches were taken to the waste site to be recycled as slash.
(4) ^ ^ ^ Rather than replace this broken table top with a new one, the original table top was repaired to preserve the aged character of the Sunset Table.
(5) ^ ^ ^ The start of construction of a stone-filled causeway.
(6) ^ ^ ^ When the water table rises in this area, the flow can be a matter of inches below the surface of this wetland meadow. A bulldozer gouged a temporary road across here lowering the ground level of the meadow about a foot.
(7) ^ ^ ^ When the water table rises, the area seen in the middle ground is likely to flood.
(8) ^ ^ ^ This causeway is designed to keep the pathway dry for access to the Sunset Table and destinations beyond. The causeway bridges the depression created by bulldozing.
(9) ^ ^ ^ Upgrading the Wetlands Pathway leading to the wetlands meadow area. When the water table rises in wet years, water from springs in the area flows across the pathway at this point. This 6-inch concrete pipe will carry the flowing water under the pathway keeping it dry for public use.
(10) ^ ^ ^ Removal of a rock jutting up along the Wetlands Pathway. You never know how large the rock is until you start digging.
(11) ^ ^ ^ The hole was repeatedly filled with water to help loosen the boulder that was firmly stuck in the ground.
(12) ^ ^ ^ This boulder was particularly difficult to remove. It went straight down like the root of a giant tooth.
(13) ^ ^ ^ Grass pathway leading to the Wild Roses Table. The grass needs to be mown regularly to keep the pathway serviceable.
(14) ^ ^ ^ Grass pathway with the Sunset Table seen in the background. Seepage and springs emerge at this elevation even in "dry" years.
(15) ^ ^ ^ A new grass pathway that connects the wetlands area to the main pathway crossing the greenbelt.
(16) ^ ^ ^ Another view of the new grass pathway.
(17) ^ ^ ^ An archway that gives access to the wetlands meadow from the service road.
(18) ^ ^ ^ In response to a written complaint about teenagers smoking in the green belt, the PMCPOA board deployed this sign at the beginning of the service road off Mil Potrero Highway.
(19) ^ ^ ^ The start of the Wetlands Pathway on the east side of the greenbelt.
(20) ^ ^ ^ This section of the Wetlands Pathway is subject to flooding during wet years. In conjunction with an incorporated drainage system, the pathway was raised to keep it perfectly dry in those wet years. The last wet year we experienced with a very high water table was 6 years ago in 2011. The previous wet year with a high water table was 6 years prior to that in 2005. This might suggest a regular cycle but it depends on the snow pack on the surrounding mountains. With the unpredictability of climate change this frequency may increase or decrease.
(21) ^ ^ ^ A thick layer of course slash (wood chips) was covered with a layer of very fine slash which feels good underfoot.
(22) ^ ^ ^ Paris loves being in the greenbelt. She is always willing to lend a hand (or should I say, a paw).
(23) ^ ^ ^ A new table and stump-stool installation that we call the Sunrise Table.
(24) ^ ^ ^ There are summer tables (in the shade) and winter tables (in the sun). This spot is one of the first to be warmed by sun rays as the sun rises after dawn.
(25) ^ ^ ^ The perfect spot to sit with a home-made cappuccino to welcome in a brand new day.
(26) ^ ^ ^ A new table top installed to replace a damaged one. (Many thanks to Shawn Coulter for donating these replacement table tops.)
(27) ^ ^ ^ A view of the greenbelt as the sun sets behind Apache Saddle.