TO MEASURE AND MAKE A WORKING SKETCH OF YOUR SITE
By Lisa Albert
4-H Wildlife Steward for Deer Creek Elementary School
measurement of the site is the essential first stage. Draw the outline
of your property, your house, existing plantings, etc. freehand. Record
all the measurements you make of the site on this rough plan. Find the
corners of your property either by using fence corners, property markers
or survey pins. Measure your lot size. Then, measure you house. Next
break down each side to its smaller components. Remember to show which
windows open, if they open in or out, how tall each window is and how
far above the ground the window is. Note which way the doors swing.
Using triangulation, site your house on your lot. Triangulation is the
method used to record an unknown fixed point by measuring to it from
two known fixed points. Use the same method to site existing plantings,
path, etc. To measure a landscape curve use the offset measuring method.
Take 90° offsets at regular intervals - say every 3ft - to record
the general shape of curves such as in a flowerbed or lawn. Mark each
measurement and join the points freehand.
Measure slope on existing
patios and pathways, low and high points of the property and the bottom
and top of all visible slope sections. You may see these elevations
shown in feet above sea level, as in the drawing below, but that is
generally unnecessary. We suggest that you transfer these findings to
your drawing by arbitrary numbers. The lowest point is 0, each additional
rise in 1 foot is counted by 1, 2, etc. You can make note of slope changes
by drawing arrows on your base map, pointing in the direction of drainage
or by drawing contour lines. This information is necessary to make slope
changes and corrections, such as adding steps or creating a swale.
Once you are finished with your measurements, begin your assessment
tour. Note areas that are sunny/shady, boggy/dry. Where are the hose
bibs? Which views do you want to keep, which to block? Where are the
prevailing winds? Don't forget utility lines and easements. Add your
comments to your rough drawing. Refer to the drawing below to see what
to include in your base map.
Finally take your rough drawing and transfer the numbers and notes to
a finished drawing on graph paper.
Using Ariel Maps for Maps
Check out these great website for getting ariel maps of your school site.