What a difference a year makes! From a badly degraded stream, a well functioning waterway emerges with benefits for both people and nature.
With support from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, our partnership with the Corps of Engineers and Virginia DEQ, work began on May 15, 2012 to restore nearly two miles of Meadow Creek, a tributary of the Rivanna River and part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Nearly 9,000 linear feet of Meadow Creek between Hydraulic Road and Greenbrier Park in Charlottesville was restored, preserving 12 acres of wetlands, over 1.5 miles of the Rivanna Trail, and a total of 72 acres of land. Over 16,000 trees and shrubs, as well as herbaceous vegetation, were planted.
Before restoration, there was little natural structure to slow stormwater. The stream's flow cut steep banks that would eventually collapse.
Erosion occurred so fast that a large portion of this silt fence slumped into the creek within a matter of months.
The project used an approach called “natural channel design” to establish a stable meandering pattern, reduce streambank erosion and sedimentation, reconnect the stream to its floodplain, and protect and enhance streamside forest.
The old unstable channel was modified to create appropriate and stable meanders and reduce the height of stream banks. Rock and log structures were installed in the stream channel to provide bank stability and prevent scour.
Riffles and pools were created to provide healthy habitat.
Where Meadow Creek was once a basket case ...
It now provides healthy habitat for wildlife and enhanced recreation opportunities for people in Charlottesville and beyond. Learn more about the work of our Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund >> HERE