Soil and Water

I’m Autumn and I’ve been interning with Ann Daisey, the Community Conservationist for Dare County, at the Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District. I’ve mainly been tasked with revamping the Dare County Soil and Water website. Ann needed some help collecting more information on things like cost share programs, stormwater best management practices, wetlands, native plants, etc. to add to the website. I only had minimal experience with webpages coming into this. I have taken a couple INLS classes at UNC and I have helped a personal friend with their own webpage. But that’s the cool thing about internships. You can have little to no experience coming into them. They are a great opportunity to explore your interests in a field that you haven’t experienced before, or haven’t experienced much.

The Dare County Soil and Water Conservation district helps property owners do voluntary conservation of our natural resources and to know what the needs of the environment in Dare County are. Ann provides assistance to businesses, homeowners, and municipalities with natural resource management, stormwater management, and water quality and soil erosion problems. She helps property owners by providing educational and technical assistance with things like implementing stormwater best management practices, soil testing, and other things like land surveying for soil smoothing. Some common stormwater best management practices in Dare County include: marsh sills, permeable pavement, rain barrels and rain gardens. Rain gardens are highly recommended by the Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ann can offer advice on how to design and implement a rain garden including how to select the best vegetation for stormwater drainage. Rain gardens are easy to install, easy to maintain and cost effective. I had the opportunity to take part in a rain garden restoration project at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, NC.

Before planting my plant, I had to separate the roots. This is important because you want to make sure that the roots can branch out in the soil. I also planted a few needle rushes along the edge of the rain garden using a dibble to create holes in the ground. In the end, with everyone helping, it didn’t take long at all to restore this rain garden back to its full potential. When I returned to the rain garden a few days later, after a rain event, the rain garden was holding water (some of which it collects from a French drain leading to the area). Success!