La Barbaria Ranch Stormwater Management
La Barbaria is a 400-acre historical ranch nestled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in La Barbaria Canyon. Its buildings date back to the early 1800s. A seasonal stream, along with dense vegetation including willows and cottonwood trees, runs the entire length the property. The stream not only creates year-round habitat but conveys rainfall during 100-year storm events from the 3.2-square-mile watershed to two small ponds.
Over time, the ponds had become filled with sediment, which reduced their detention capacity. To help LaBarbaria devise a sustainable water management solution, Biohabitats excavated both ponds to remove the debris and sediment, and replanted the area with native vegetation and ornamentals (water lilies). Water control structures, which had been destroyed in a 1988 flood event, were redesigned and rebuilt to handle a 1000 cfs storm event.