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Girl Scout partners with Summit Land Conservancy to improve water presence in Round Valley

Girl Scouts logo and Summit Land Conservancy logo

A joint effort between a local Girl Scout and conservation group aims to bolster water systems and provide healthier wildlife habitats in Round Valley.

If you’ve seen rocks in cages in Round Valley, they’re part of a recent project to help riverbeds hold water. They’re designed to prevent erosion and form channels that catch snow water runoff to create more robust water networks.

“They were releasing owls into the wild after they had been hit by cars,” says Lanie Pidwell, a Park City Girl Scout who’s driving the project. “There isn't enough water, so the animals are going across the street. And so I wanted to do something that would help increase the water, and that's how I got the project idea.”

She’s working with the Summit Land Conservancy, which owns conservation easements in the recreation area. Park City has provided about $500 worth of rocks for the initiative and plans to contribute more.

“This specific area was one that we've been looking at for a while,” says Brett Denney, Summit Land Conservancy stewardship manager. “The area out there has agricultural history, a lot of sheep are out there. And that's kind of where some of this erosion started. And, and has continued a little bit over the years.”

He says the rock dams will allow water not only to accumulate, but to stay present much later into the summer than it does currently. It’ll also flow through new places, thanks to new channels the dams will create.

Pidwell plans to apply for the Gold Award, described as the “most prestigious award in Girl Scouting.” She says it’s been a goal since she started in Scouts.

Along with Pidwell, the Summit Land Conservancy and Park City, about 15 volunteers helped to place the first sections of rocks.