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Restoration of Kelsey Creek

 

Kelsey Creek: the transformation has begun…

Construction to restore beauty, life, and safe access to Kelsey Creek began on June 27, and is expected to finish in mid-August (weather permitting).

 

A kinder, gentler Kelsey Creek…

The steep, unsafe banks of the stream in the area near the Schnee Learning Center and picnic area have been reshaped to have a much more gradual slope. By raising the elevation of the streambed and excavating a new and lower floodplain, these gentle slopes offer people a safer way to reach and enjoy the stream, and they provide a place native plants (which provide habitat and stabilize the banks) to grow. During heavy storms, the gentler slope also allows the stream to overflow into its natural floodplain, where it can be absorbed by plants and slowly seep into the ground, rather than rushing through and eroding the stream

 

Bank investments…

Eco-friendly construction techniques will keep the banks of Kelsey Creek beautiful and stable, even during heavy rains. Coir matting (a natural, fibrous fabric made from coconut fiber) has been installed along the banks to stabilize the banks and prevent erosion. Along with the matting, live willow and dogwood branches have been layered along some of the banks. These branches will soon sprout into shrubs, which will shade the creek, provide habitat, and help stabilize the banks.. A portion of the new banks and floodplains have already been seeded with native grasses and wildflowers. While we wait for those plants to become established, a “cover crop” of millet has begun to sprout and will help hold the soil in place. Volunteers will help plant trees, shrubs and plugs in the fall.

 

Aquatic home makeover…

Five of ten planned “riffle” features have been constructed in the southern section of the stream, which encompasses the picnic grove adjacent to the Schnee Learning Center. The riffles, which consist of cobble placed in the stream bed, create habitat for fish, insects and other aquatic life. Water flows quickly over the riffle, and then slows down in a pool. Riffle and pool areas make great feeding spots for aquatic life. Construction of the remaining five riffle features, which will be placed on the northern end of the stream, near the baseball fields, should be complete by the end of July (weather permitting).

 

Rock on…

From now through early-August, we are installing a series of “rock steps” in the northern portion of the stream on the baseball field side of the bridge. These structures, which consist of large boulders placed across the width of the stream, help dissipate stream energy and reconnect the streambed to its prior elevation.

 

What’s next?

Keep an eye out for a lush carpet of grasses along the stream this summer. Come early November volunteers will be busy planting trees, shrubs and plugs. Until the new vegetation becomes established it is important to stay off of these areas and on the trails so the soil isn’t compacted and the plants aren’t trampled. Information on the fall planting can be found at http://cfo.cityofcf.com/web/departments/service-directors-office/restora...

Last changed 07/31/2013 - 11:53am by webmaster