Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation

Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation District Project

Advancing Organic Biology for a Sustainable Future


Project Background

The project is intended to take aim at the hill slopes in, the NY region. The Round Neversink Dream Stream Team constructed two 60-foot-tall glacial outwash until hills using stream flow dynamics, sand toe creation, floodplain expertise, and bioengineering. Obtaining topsoil in the area is a continual challenge for the team working with more sensitive ecosystems.

Sullivan County

Location: USA
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March 20, 2020
Review 5 different projects along the Roundout Neversink Stream that flow down into NYC’s drinking water reservoirs.

1. 50-60¶ high steep rocky glacial outwash/till hill slopes near the main office

2. Blue Hill Lodge was a much larger glacial out-washed hill slope area that had some fallen trees, stumps, uprooted trees, and stumps that appear to be helping hold the banks from further erosion.

3. Denning Town Hall was very much like # 2 Blue Hill Lodge a glacial out-washed hill slope area but with more logs, uprooted trees, stumps, and anchored living Hemlock trees at the base of the slop.

The Round Neversink Dream Stream Team!
Some much-needed fungal ramial wood chips for future inoculations

4. RT 55 stockpile/riprap area and Hemlock soil location

Two other projects are the RT 55 stockpile/riprap staging area and across the stream. This is a
Ten-year research project TBD, compost application and seeding onto and into the large man
made rock bank wall and the reseeding and application of AACT to the upper bank section of the
hemlock soil area.

5. The private Fishing recreation area downstream from summer camp (forgot the name of this place) was very much like # 2 Blue Hill Lodge and # 3 Denning Town Hall a glacial out-washed hill slope area but with the most logs, uprooted trees, and stumps.

Notes from Brenden on 8/15/19: The project sites are located in Claryville, NY. The Round Neversink Dream Stream Team stabilized two 60-high glacial outwash/till hill slopes using natural channel design, rootwad toes, bioengineering, and riparian plantings. Obtaining topsoil has always been an issue for them, as they are working in an area of high species fidelity and in trying to reduce their import footprint, they were able to reclaim topsoil from a flood mitigation project a few miles away. While Brenden first thought that the soil was rich in organics due to the jet-black color, after applying it soil tests have shown that it is acidic sand with very low nutrients and CEC. Brenden had been studying soil science for the past few months in an attempt to amend the site and has been working with a soil consultant from the PNW on mineral amendment recommendations that they applied in late June. An updated soil test has shown improvement, but they have not seen that improvement reflected in the plant growth. They applied an experimental compost tea in approximately July to 25×25 and 25×10 areas, but they do not see a visual improvement in those areas either. There may have been an issue with the compost they used, which wasn’t very mature, so they did another application around mid-August with some good-quality compost.

Notes from the 3/20/20 visit: I concur with Brenden and recommend continued cutting of leaning trees to maintain stumps and to cut down all existing tree crowns into slash and other debris to help anchor down eroding soils. If possible additional downed logs should be used to help maintain and reduce washouts. After cutting down debris, and tree tops and installing more anchor logs a mix of Compost/ Biochar/AACT and quick-growing cover crops should be applied followed by a 2nd seeding in the early fall of native perennials and selective planting of native Evergreens and Deciduous trees followed by a heavy liquid compost extract application. The timing on these applications is TBD! Looking to apply a 6-12 inch layer of compost/Biochar mix with custom native cover crop mix and planting of gray birch, beach, and other Deciduous and Evergreens? Timing of planting (spring vs. summer vs. fall) would be critical to the success of this type of mix and whether to change the ratio of fast germinating annuals to quickly fill in and stabilize the steep glacial outwash hill slopes first to reduce the risk and failure of washout from early spring rains or summer droughts. After the first liquid compost extracts and or AACT is applied the second application should be done with the second seeding of more desirable later successional perennial cover crops and possible trees. Possible equipment needs for the project: compost tea brewer, supplies to make and apply AACT, combination sprayer and brewer for AACT for pickup and or UTV/ATV or Subcontract out the entire making and application of AACT or a combination of both. There is also the possibility of applying AACT and seeding with the XAG drones for this project

"Regenerative practices create a cycle of renewal, where the present is enriched by the past and the future is enriched by the present."
T. Harrington