LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) - Following fires and floods little balls of clay could prevent a lot of damage on the Cochiti and Santa Clara Pueblos, and a future eagle scout is spear heading the effort.
The project started as a small seed of an idea for Jin Park, a Los Alamos High School senior hoping to become an Eagle Scout. His idea grew into much more than he could have imagined. "We made a 100,00 seed balls," Park said. "I think we might have made more. No one was counting."
Park said more than 600 people helped him make the little lumps of clay last weekend. They are called seed balls and contain grass and wildflower seeds. After the clay is completley dry, which takes about a week, they'll be scattered along the pueblos, especially in areas recently devastated by fire and floods.
"We actually got calls before we made them from Cochiti Pueblo," Park said. "They heard we were making a ton, and they called and said we want some. We have dibs on those." Jin was inspired to make the seed balls after doing so in elementary school during the Cerro Grande fire, but this time he wanted it to be a community project. "We had kids from ages like four, five and six years old. We had one lady that was 93 years old."
Seed balls are designed to protect seeds from excessive sun, flooding and scavengers. They open up under optimum conditions and are a quick and efficient way to rehabilitate desolate land. Park's project will cover about 30,000 acres of land burned in the Las Conchas fire. The seed balls are about the size of golf balls. Residents on the pueblos will scatter them by hand starting next week.
Los Alamos businesses donated all of the materials needed to make the tiny beckons of hope.
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