[BCNnet] Stream Restoration Project Springbrook Prairie DuPage
County - No Sightings
issuesman50 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 12 20:11:19 CST 2007
I just thought I would let people know that the DuPage County Forest Preserve District is about to start a new restoration project at Springbrook Prairie, Naperville, DuPage County. Since many of you in the Chicago area go birding at Springbrook, I wanted to give you a heads up on the activity.
The project will restore the stream that runs through much of the site to more natural conditions -the northern half of the stream was ditched and channelized many, many years ago, and the project will restore meanders, riffles, pools,wetlands, and a natural floodplain to the stream.
The initial phase will begin in the next few weeks and will affect the stream from the current wetlands and ponds near 75 Street to the intersection of Book and 83rd streets. In order to complete the project, the many European Black Alders ( introduced/invasive species) that line the channelized stream will be removed, and there will be quite a bit of earth moving to change the level and course of the stream. I believe that the current corrugated iron dam will be replaced with a more natural structure.
As the bird monitor at Springbrook, I have been working with DuPage staff and fully support the project. It will create a more natural stream habitat and additional wetlands which should be better for wetland birds( more for King and Black rails, we hope). It, of course will greatly improve the aquatic habitat and water quality on the site. In addition, removing the line of black alders and other trees along the current ditch will greatly improve the habitat for more grassland birds and join two large grassland areas to increase the contiguous field size. While the line of trees that will be removed provided some habitat for edge birds, over the last 12 years of monitoring, I have only found the common edge birds nesting there and nothing that is not found at numerous others areas of the site. The District will be replanting some shrubs along a portion of the stream, but the intent will be to recreate a prairie stream/more open habitat through much of the length from
the current wetland southwest to Book Rd.
The major construction and disturbance is scheduled to be completed by June, so we will minimize impact on the nesting grassland birds. There will be lots of temporary disturbance and earth moving in the short term, but the project will result in better habitat in the near future. I'm very anxious to to see the results.
Please feel free to contact me or the District if you have any questions. If you bird Springbrook, you will at least know what is going on there - and gladly know that it is not earth clearing for another subdivision or shopping mall.
Site Steward and Bird Monitor
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