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The Rolling River Project

The Rolling River is a working model of a watershed, mounted on a trailer that is

transported to schools and special events. The trailer is filled with sand-like recycled
plastic granules which can be molded into nearly any type of landscape by forming
hills, plains, and valleys, and outfitting them with miniature forests, farms, and cities.
Hidden plumbing allows the rivers to actually flow, wetlands to appear, and lakes to
rise and fall in response to simulated flood and drought cycles.

The Rolling River model can be manipulated to demonstrate various aspects of

riparian and lacustrine systems, river hydrology and geomorphology, interaction
of surface and ground water systems, and water quality issues.

Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, based in Albuquerque, has presented
the Rolling River at numerous school campuses, festivals, county and state fairs,
conferences, and Earth Day events over the past four years. Trained staff and
volunteers use the trailer to demonstrate in a hands-on fashion how the real world's
water systems work. We hope that visitors leave with a new recognition of how
precious and essential a resource we have in our rivers, lakes, and groundwater.

The presenter can concentrate on one particular aspect of the riparian system, or can
give a general overview of what watersheds are and how they work, depending on
the purpose of the visit. Presentations can be customized to address the age level,
background, and specific interests of the audience.

If you are interested in scheduling a Rolling River presentation for your school or
community group, contact the Ciudad SWCD at 761-5446.

Ciudad's Rolling River Project is funded in part by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, with support from
the NM Department of Agriculture and the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts.