October 20, 1996

Slope and water

In the summer of 1996 Bob Dibble worked with Paula, Tim, Nando, and Beatriz of Open Road to create activities with kids about slope and water. The goal was to re-grade land and re-dig a pond in a one acre park so all the rainwater would flow across a grass field into a 60' wide pond. Bob worked with us on using sight levels, surveryor's tools, creating a water budget, and figuring out the speed and rate of flow of water across different surfaces like grass, rocks, and asphalt.

Above: Bob Dibble, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, with Beatriz Sanchez, Open Road, youth leader.

We worked with Bob to get the grade right so water would percolate through the grass, compost and gravel and flow over this liner (above) into the pond.

Bob Dibble also taught us all how to use a simple sight level (above) with a plumb line + ruler to find the grade or slope of the land.

Click the pictures below to enlarge them and read the text

We worked alongside engineers and architects to turn the designs Bob Dibble helped us develop into a stormwater pond fed by rainwater flowing across a playing field, in Manhattan. This is the first on site stormwater capture pond in a NYC playground approved by the Parks Department, the Department of Education, and DEP. You can read more about it here.

Above paintings, architectural blueprints, photographs and writing by Paula Hewitt.