“People love Windsong. It’s small and intimate, and people have been going there for years.”
Inevitably, the drought will end and Windsong will reopen. Unfortunately, there’s no telling when.
Much of the southwest United States is in a similar boat, dealing with drought issues on a grander scale, considered a “megadrought” by many. In an article for National Geographic, Alejandra Borunda says that, according to a measure of tree rings, average soil moisture in southwest North America is the lowest it’s been for at least 1200 years. General drought problems are increasingly present, like higher wildfire risk, potential water shortages, lower air quality, agricultural depletion, and shocks to flora and fauna. Human carelessness, she says, is turning these droughts from bad to worse. Kevin echoes the sentiment.
“Everything in the natural world is interconnected,” he says. “A cycle of poor land stewardship can cause soil erosion. Less soil means less medium for vegetation to grow, therefore less opportunity for water infiltration and percolation which helps recharge the aquifer. Less water infiltration means more stormwater runoff which creates more erosion…The cycle continues until all the soil is eroded and infiltration is reduced.”
Kevin often consults Steve Nelle, an independent natural resource specialist and wildlife biologist, on the state of the Canyon. In a report back to the Foundation on his findings, Steve wrote:
“With each trip I continue to be favorably impressed with the overall stewardship priority for the property. It is a great challenge to juggle the heavy human use and infrastructure with the responsible care of the wildness of the property. It is clear that the leadership and staff are working very diligently to be in sync as much as possible with the natural ecological character of the property.”
Although the land longs for rain, it’s resolute. Rain will return. Silver Creek will refill. Camp will continue. Campers will inhabit Windsong again and cannonballs into the waterfront will, as they’re meant to, resume. With continued hope, good stewardship, and a lot of rain, the Frio River Canyon will recover like it has before.
“The programs are completely rooted in this place,” Kevin says, “and this place was meant to be used by the programs.”