The Conservation Homestead

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Past Projects, Restoration Projects

Galisteo Basin Preserve, NM

This project in the Galisteo Basin Preserve follows the razing of an old homestead and aims to remediate the site’s ecological function and facilitate recreational access to the area. The homestead was purchased by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust with the intention of demonstrating the processes of returning a highly developed space back to a natural state. Prior to this implementation, a house, barn, outbuildings, and corrals were torn down. A coarse regrading to somewhat natural grade was conducted at the time of razing. The demolition site was then keyline plowed and seeded to slow and spread water flow and increase infiltration.


Project goals focus around integrating erosion control and restoration techniques with recreational site access. The earthen and rock structures are variously designed to spread flow, increase infiltration and water holding capacity, stabilize erosional areas, and provide stable conveyance structures for excess runoff.

Our scope included constructing rock erosion control features as well as earthen berms and swales, creating a terraced slope using vegetation plugs, and reseeding the extent of the disturbed area. The site plan was designed and coordinated by Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone Landscape Planning, in partnership with the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, and our work was completed alongside crews of SFCT volunteers, who built dozens of additional rock erosion control structures.