Hurricane Irene left much of Wesleyan’s campus in disarray. Power out, trees downed, and roads closed. But our sustainable landscaping project fared incredibly well. Fearing the hurricane would wreck our newly laid layers of sheet mulch, we prepped for the worst. We dredged and deepened our swales (constructed open-channel drainageways to deal with stormwater runoff) , added an extra layer of mulch to any areas of exposed cardboard, and hoped for the best. In the eye of the storm on Saturday afternoon, we went out to assess the damage and instead found a completely intact and (to our eyes!) incredibly beautiful WestCo courtyard. We lost one medium-sized branch from the beech tree on the south side of courtyard, but otherwise escaped the climate/weather chaos unharmed! We took some pictures and wanted to show you. Check out the 2+ feet of water in the swales and the carpet weed spreading along the swale wall and keeping it from eroding.