The Dirt on Dirt: Fight Soil Erosion
Published Monday, Nov 17, 2014
Humans have created bustling cities that serve as beacons for human prosperity and culture; those same cities were once sprawling ecosystems that took thousands of years to create and sustain. It is important to recognize the effect we have on the planet and our surroundings. We can do this is by paying attention to the ground that supports us. (Looking at Durham’s Jordan Lake tells me that humans have contributed to the debasement and degradation of the land. Let’s be proactive and leave the earth better than we found it!)
(a timeless Earth)
Topsoil, the first layer of earth 8 inches deep from ground level, is nutrient rich and used to exist in abundance due to plant decay. A healthy layer of topsoil is vital to every ecosystem around the world and plays a key role at all levels of food consumption. Erosion of topsoil is a more pressing problem today than ever, considering that each year a metric of cropland the size of Indiana is destroyed because of soil displacement and erosion. This thin layer of loam is far more important than it seemed when we were in the sandbox.
By creating gardens and urban abundant spaces, you create a buffer for the wind and rain (which could otherwise be lost due to weather), thereby protecting the topsoil. Preventing soil displacement can be fun as well as beneficial to the environment and you don’t have to have your own garden to support soil life! Really, I have had an enriching experience volunteering in the garden at SEEDS over the past couple of months. You can sign up online for a gardening shift.
Soil displacement is a problem which everyone can prevent. Knowledge about topsoil gives you the arsenal of information which you can use to reveal to others its importance. With methods like gardening and installing riprap, we can stop erosion from happening before the rain or wind hits the earth. It’s most important to do the acts that make change. Turning the knowledge you have about erosion into action in the garden makes your life and the lives of future generations easier and better through positive environmental impact. Start fighting soil erosion; get in the garden today!
(keep an eye out for soil erosion)