By Jamie Vaughan
Trout Unlimited and local partners recently completed construction on a wetland restoration in downtown Cedar Springs, Mich.
With help from a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) this is the second wetland restoration that Trout Unlimited has implemented in this community, which is home to Cedar Creek, an important coldwater tributary to the Rogue River.
Wetlands provide vital, valuable services such as filtering pollution from stormwater runoff, providing fish and wildlife habitat, and controlling floodwaters.
Trout Unlimited identified this community as a high priority for water quality improvement through wetland restoration due to its proximity to Cedar Creek, the land use of the area, and the grassroots support from groups like the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team who aim to enhance downtown Cedar Springs while protecting its important natural features.
Cedar Creek is one of the coldest tributaries to the Rogue River and supports healthy populations of brook, brown, and rainbow trout. But it is at risk due to the continued development of the Rogue River watershed and wetland loss.
SouthPeat Environmental LLC and Deans Excavating completed construction on the wetland restoration which is just off of Main Street in an area called North Park, bordered by Cedar Creek on its south side. Partners and volunteers helped revegetate the site with native wetland plants and trees to further enhance the wetland’s capacity to filter polluted runoff. While the approximately 2-acre wetland restoration may seem small, it will provide big results in its location of downtown Cedar Springs where few wetlands remain and there is excess stormwater runoff.
EGLE awarded Trout Unlimited over $200,000 in grant funding for this urban wetland restoration initiative in the Rogue River watershed. The City of Cedar Springs and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team has also contributed $22,000 to this project.
These wetlands will not only improve water quality of Cedar Creek and the Rogue River but also provide the Cedar Springs community many opportunities to experience nature through enjoying the birds and butterflies, observing the blooms of native flowers throughout the seasons, and hearing the songs of spring peepers and other wildlife.
This project has been funded wholly or in part through Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Nonpoint Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.