The project area is 550-foot stretch of Carolina Creek that lacks riparian vegetation due to past land use practices. What little vegetation is there is threatened by reed canary grass and Armenian blackberry which likely contributes to increased stream temperatures and a loss of species diversity. The degraded water resources have resulted in high summer water temperatures, erosion, and nutrient inputs.
3,040 trees and shrubs were planted on 1.65 acres adding an ~130ft riparian buffer. It is maintained by regular mowing and watering. Some areas along this section of the creek were not planted in order to keep openings in the riparian area for Western pond turtle (WPT) nesting. WPT have been seen here historically and currently reside downstream at the Row River Nature Park. Additionally, cattle that used to graze this area have been removed.
Re-establishing the native riparian buffer in this tributary stream will benefit fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality by shading the water, filtering out fine sediments and nutrients and eventually contributing large woody debris.