Feature lake fills at The Living Classroom

July 16, 2012

After four days of beautiful rain the feature lake at The Living Classroom has filled. Just like the big rain events of February 2012 and November 2011 the 118mm received in the last week saturated the catchment and then filled the 6 ML lake.

From This…   …to THIS!
Before the rains came After the rain!

What a difference a week can make!

Photos: The feature lake at TLC with the some of the recent plantings on it’s banks.  Click the images to ENLARGE!

After the rain!

“The feature lake on The Living Classroom site was the last of the earthworks completed,” said Bingara and District Vision 2020 President, Rick Hutton. “It was finished just too late to receive the February rains, and has waited patiently for another big wet,” he said.

“The timing in July was perfect, with an enthusiastic group of students from the University of Technology Sydney having stayed at the Living Classroom Bunkhouse on Monday night and planting over one thousand grasses, trees and shrubs on Tuesday,” Rick said.

“Then came the rain, which filled up the banks and swales across the catchment, topped the main storage lake and then spilled into the feature lake, filling it to its spillway,” he explained.

The capture and storage of storm water is an important component of The Living Classroom. The six lakes and ponds and more than two kilometres of banks and swales have a maximum surface storage of 20 to 25 ML Rick Hutton suggested. “This is mostly storm waters which would otherwise have inundated the town,” he added.

“Nearly all of that water is concentrated into the 25 hectares that forms the northern portion of the 150 ha site,” he said. “That means when the site is fully saturated, like it is now, there is one megalitre of water for every hectare of land to be planted on. Our challenge will be to apply that water to an improving soil bed so as to produce a wide variety of food crops,” Rick said.

The Business Plan for The Living Classroom site is due soon. A key component of the plan will be the engagement of visiting students in the actions of soil preparation, planting and harvesting of foods from the site.

‘Nothing tastes better than food that is freshly picked, and known to be full of the right nutrients, without residual chemicals,’ Rick added. “The Living Classroom provides Bingara with an opportunity to be at the forefront of regenerative agriculture at The Living Classroom”.

Submitted by, Rick Hutton, President – Bingara and District Vision 2020.