At a Glance

Excavation of ponds removes debris and sediment, creating year round habitat and providing structure for large flood events.

Project Description

La Barbaria is a 400-acre historic ranch nestled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in La Barbaria Canyon. Its buildings date back to the early 1800s. A seasonal stream, lined with dense vegetation including willows and cottonwood trees, runs the entire length of the property. The stream not only creates year-round habitat but conveys rainfall during 100-year storms from the 3.2-square-mile watershed to two small ponds.

Over time, the ponds had become filled with sediment, which reduced their retention capacity. To help La Barbaria 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.



Southwest Basin & Range

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


La Barbaria Ranch


Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States