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Quail Springs Flood Update – Recovery and Rebuilding as the Sun Dries the Land

Editor’s preamble: More info on Quail Springs’ recent destructive deluge can be found here, and here.

Hello Dear Friends of Quail Springs,

The waters have settled and the clay deposits are beginning to crack in the sun as the land at Quail Springs begins to rest from last week’s unprecedented flooding event. Since the mountains of water came to reshape the land and our lives, our spirits have been lovingly buoyed by the tremendous outpouring of kind words, offers of assistance, donations, general encouragement and appreciation from hundreds of people locally and around the globe. We’ve been reminded again and again that our work touches many people, in many places, and in many ways.

This past week has been filled with long days troubleshooting, designing and fixing plumbing, sanitation, phone, roads, and water storage, repairing our badly damaged well, and scavenging down canyon for the many things that floated away, including our wood-fired bathtubs. We’re fortunate to have six interns who are joyfully helping with all the tasks, and a few other folks who have come out to assist where needed.

Digging in! Salvaging
garden drip lines

Our gratitude to all who have offered their help as volunteers – we’ll call out to you over the next months as we are able to use more help, with adequate water supply and clearly defined projects. We will let you know by posting flood recovery and rebuilding volunteer weekends on this email list.

In these past days, we have spent time on the land walking the canyon and listening to the clues that this event has poignantly shared. These lessons will be instrumental in the incremental design process for our future work and for rebuilding in a way that honors this land.

Check out this short video (no audio) taken during the flood by Nick Peihl, who was here for a plastering workshop:

Take a look at the water in the middle of the canyon up toward the springs – it is nearly 15 feet deep in the center and over 100 feet wide. Down canyon, across from our main community area, the waters gathered to nearly 800 feet across.

We’ve seen places where the water line of the flood placed the depth of the rushing waters to over 18 feet and then jumped out of the incised channel into the flood plain with a force that snapped large mature trees in half. To our surprise, we also found that the springs are running remarkably clear and clean. After substantial rains in the past, the springs generally remain muddy for a week or two. Not only does it feel like the springs have experienced a good cleansing, but there is truly a refreshed beauty to the canyon that is hard to capture in words.

Beginning at sunset this past Thursday night, we kindled a sacred fire for 48 hours until sunset on Saturday. The intention of the fire was to count our blessings, give our gratitude, and have a place for all the people working so diligently here to gather in story, song, crafting and quietude. It’s been so special for all of us to tend the fire and make our offerings for this land and for our work.

We’ve estimated it will take approximately $50,000 to fix, rebuild, protect from future flooding, replant and generally bring the infrastructure into working order. If you’d like to request a projected budget with line item details, please email us at info (at)

Up to now, over 40 people have raised $6,200 in just one week’s time – a huge gratitude to each and every one of these early contributors! Additionally, a generous supporter has agreed to underwrite up to $10,000 of the road and other repair work.

Please help with flood recovery and rebuilding by contributing a tax deductible donation via Donate Now. Thank you! All gifts, small and large, add up to rebuilding and planting for resiliency.

We thank you all for your continued belief and support of our work in this high-desert canyon, and for the incredible outpouring of generosity that has touched our hearts and afforded us the capacity to rebuild and continue. Your blessings will be a part of the Quail Springs story that will last for generations….

With honey in our hearts,

The Quail Springs Stewards

Warren Brush

Warren Brush is a global permaculture design consultant, educator, lecturer and storyteller. He has worked for over 25 years in sustainable systems design for communities, private and public organizations, households, small holder farms, and conservation properties worldwide. He is co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture, Regenerative Earth Enterprises, Sustainable Vocations, Wilderness Youth Project, Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery and his Permaculture design company, True Nature Design. He is also an advising founder of the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya. He consults for the USAID’s TOPS (Technical, Operations, Performance Support) program where he trains technical field staff, for their African Food for Peace programs, in a Resilience Design Framework. He works extensively in North America, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. He has taught the following courses: Permaculture Design Certification, Earthworks for Resiliency, Resilient Smallholder Farm Design, Permaculture for International Development, Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Ferro-Cement Tank Building, Community Design Using Permaculture, Permaculture Investing, Spring Rejuvenation and Watershed Restoration, Compost Toilet Systems, Water for Every Farm, Drought Proofing Landscapes, and Ecological Restoration. Contact or write: [email protected]. Websites:

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