Following many years of planning and coordination, The Nature Conservancy and the City of Charlottesville will restore nearly two miles of Meadow Creek stretching from Hydraulic Road through Greenbrier Park, beginning later this spring. Conservancy and City staff will share the final restoration design and construction details at a public meeting held on Monday, April 23, 6-8 pm at Charlottesville High School.
This project is focused on improving valuable local resources and will contribute to achieving regional water quality goals. It will improve and, in some areas, relocate portions of the creek and install rock and log structures along its course to improve habitat and stability. Invasive vegetation, which threatens the health of the native forest, also will be removed. Native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species will be planted to improve habitat and further stabilize repaired banks along the more natural stream channel.
The project involves not only restoring the degraded stream, but has also resulted in the addition of approximately 40 acres of new city parkland. The effort will permanently protect the Rivanna Trail corridor paralleling this section of Meadow Creek as well. A segment of the Rivanna Trail near Hydraulic Road has already been re-routed to accommodate Meadow Creek’s new course. The City’s Parks & Recreation Department is working towards a plan for enhanced public access and recreation.
“This stretch of Meadow Creek suffers from crumbling banks and severe sedimentation, problems compounded anytime we have stormwater runoff,” said Diane Frisbee, the Conservancy’s stream project manager. “The restoration will dramatically improve conditions in the stream itself, plus help improve the quality of water feeding into the Rivanna River.”
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos recognized the significance a project like this has on future generations: “As stewards of our urban environment, this restored stream corridor will create a legacy we can be proud to leave to our children.”
Funding for the $3.95-million restoration comes from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Administered by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Conservancy, the trust fund enables significant wetland and stream protection and restoration projects throughout Virginia.
For updates and additional information on the Meadow Creek restoration, go online to www.charlottesville.org/meadowcreek.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.