Faces of The Fargo Project: Ronald Albert of Amu Productions

Ronald Albert is a filmmaker, wedding, music videographer, editor, and freelance photographer who has been photographing events at World Garden Commons.  Born in South Sudan, Ronald and his family moved to the USA in 1998 and settled in Fargo, ND where he currently lives.

Ronald Albert, Photographer

Ronald Albert, Photographer

The exhibition catalog for "Jackie Brookner On Nature" features a photograph by Ronald Albert of the World Garden Commons.

The exhibition catalog for “Jackie Brookner: On Nature” features a photograph by Ronald Albert of the World Garden Commons.

An image taken by Ronald Albert, Amu Productions is featured on page 19 in the catalogue for Jackie Brookner: Of Nature” an exhibition at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY. The first retrospective to trace the expansive work of Jackie Brookner, curated by Amy Lipton and Jennifer McGregor is open from September 13-December 4, 2016.

Ronald has been photographing people during Community Table, volunteer activities and other community events at The Fargo Project World Garden Commons.

After graduating from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a Bachelor in Film Production and Minor in Graphic Communication, he started his film career as a camera operator and teleprompter at Prairie Public Television. Later he worked as an editor at Prairie Heights Community church.

Ronald recently started working at KVRR TV as a master controller. During his free time, he films music videos and does freelance photography. Ronald decided that preserving memories for families is what he wants to do, so in 2015 Ronald started Amu Production. His images for The Fargo Project at World Garden Commons captures a colorful and vibrant community.


You Can’t Pile Pudding or Why Winter Construction is Ideal for the World Garden Commons Basin

dessert-282381_640Fresh, home-made chocolate pudding, warm, just off the stove is a favorite treat during cold winter evenings. After it comes off the stove, the pudding is in a semi-liquid state that requires you pour it into a bowl to eat or let it cool and solidify in the refrigerator.

Silt, clay and water make for a muddy basin

Silt, clay and water make for a muddy basin

While our top soil is some of the most fertile soil in the nation, the layers under the surface comprise largely of heavy, poorly drained clays and silts left over from glacial Lake Agassiz. In some areas, what remains of the glacial-drift ranges from 150 to 300 feet thick. The particles of clay and silt are so small you can’t see a single granule. When wet, the soil acts like pudding. When it dries, what remains are layers of fine dust.

Even when it appears to be dry, under thin layers of dust the silt and clay soil remains mushy and soft.

Even when it appears to be dry, under thin layers of dust the silt and clay soil remains mushy and soft.

We learned last year during the regular summer construction season that the soil at the bottom of the basin acts like hot pudding. As a stormwater basin it’s supposed to hold water during and after rainstorms. Even during the driest time of summer, the soil under layers of dust is often infused with water. The wet soil makes it difficult for heavy equipment to move and the soil’s lack of structure causes any piles to shift and puddle. While you can try to pile big ol’ spoonfuls of pudding on your plate, there’s a reason pudding is sold in a cup.

Once the soil freezes heavy work can begin on three water features at the inlets and outlet. The new structures will mimic nature and include a plunge pool which, in theory, will collect sediment as stormwater collects. Rocks of various sizes will mimic streams and cause low-flow water to babble.  The design is much more visually appealing than the concrete aprons that exist today.

Keep an eye on this winter’s construction.


NDSU Student’s Stream Work

Prior to construction in 2015,  the World Garden Commons stormwater basin had a concrete channel.  It was removed as an experiment of The Fargo Project to answer many questions including, can stormwater basins be green spaces within an urban area that feature streams which mimic those found in nature?

Under Natural Resources Management Professor Jack Norland, PhD, and with advice from Justin Klabo, PE, a Water Resources Project Manager for The Fargo Project, undergraduate NDSU student Aaron Green, devised several baffles to induce the old channel to meander like a normal stream.

Aaron and 6 other NDSU volunteers started with two rock baffles, and will install two more that will use willows and rocks. The willows will be installed later once the willows drop their leaves. As time goes on the different baffles will be compared for their effectiveness in creating stream meanders and inducing the stream to act more naturally.

 

NDSU undergrad Aaron Green devised baffles to induce meander

NDSU undergrad Aaron Green devised baffles to induce meander

NDSU student volunteers place rocks to induce meander in the old channel bed

NDSU student volunteers place rocks to induce meander in the old channel bed