Construction of the Phase I Pike River Streambank and Wetland Restoration project in Petrifying Springs Park will begin Friday, June 8, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser announced today.
This project will be accomplished with support from a $500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a $200,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan.
The south branch of the Pike in Petrifying Springs is the most substantial stretch of publically owned river and riparian area within the greater urban Kenosha area and has been termed a green infrastructure hub in the Pike River Watershed-Based Plan.
“This project will restore and preserve the Pike River watershed, which, in turn, will feed cleaner water into Lake Michigan,” Kreuser said. “This is a win-win for our environment and our quality of life, which is enhanced so much by the natural resources around us.”
The work that will begin Friday is Phase 1 of a three-phase project within Petrifying Springs Park that will control erosion by stopping streambank erosion, improve instream structure and streamflow dynamics, and use native vegetation to stabilize and improve filtration and infiltration of the riparian area.
Over the last year, Kenosha County has worked alongside engineers to create a comprehensive plan to protect Petrifying Springs Park from further erosion along the banks of the Pike River. During this process, potential grant opportunities were identified to obtain funding to begin the needed restoration work.
Implementation work will involve various restoration activities, including down-cutting of eroding portions of the streambank, placement of instream structures, and planting of native vegetation that will stabilize banks long-term and enhance habitat quality.In addition, approximately three of eight acres of riparian wetlands will be restored to contribute to hydrological improvements, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat, with the remainder to be accomplished in Phases 2 and 3.
Petrifying Springs Park will remain open throughout the summer, though some trails and sections of the park may be closed temporarily during construction.
Educational forum to be held June 18:
The Kenosha County Division of Parks invites the general public to an educational forum from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 18 at Petrifying Springs Park Shelter #6.
This informational session will include guest speakers from the Division of Parks, the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Speakers will discuss the Pike River Streambank Restoration project and educate the public on water quality and watershed issues.
For more information on Pike River restoration work or the upcoming educational forum, please contact Kenosha County Parks at 262-857-1869 or visit parks.kenoshacounty.org.