Before asphalt, Venice might have looked like this in the winter and spring months. This image borrowed from californiachaparral.com shows a Southern California vernal pool. They are bare, lifeless spots for most of the year, disguised by chaparral or coastal sage scrub. When enough rain falls, they come alive and take in their fill of water. Our urban environment has disrupted the natural flow of rain water down from the Santa Monica mountains to the beaches. Meaning that Walgrove–and the surrounding area–can no longer capture this flow in such seasonal pools. Still the Wildlands’ dry arroyo (aka bioswale) mimics this function for the campus by capturing run off from the higher point of the yard. A manmade pool is better than no pool at all.