What is a Riparian Corridor?
It is a unique plant community consisting of the vegetation growing near a natural body of water. It preserves water quality by filtering stormwater pollutants, protects bank from erosion, cools the water temperature, and provides food and habitat for wildlife and aquatic life.
Degraded stream bank
Goal - through a Grant, under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, to restore approximately 2 miles of stream bank above and adjoining land around the SW Clean Water Treatment Plant (SWCWP).
Partnership - with the City of Springfield, James River Basin Partnership, and Ozark Greenways.
Slows Stormwater runoff
Decreases nutrient loading in the stream
Cools water temperatures
Creates wildlife & aquatic habitat
All of these lead to improved water quality and wildlife habitat.
With the assistance of many volunteers (Missouri Department of Conservation, MSU, Drury, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and other groups), 7000 trees and bushes were planted in the 2 miles of stream bank and land above and adjoining the SWCWP. Native vegetation was planted on 36 acres of Wilson's Creek Riparian Zone. Approximately 150 volunteers planted over 24 species over a two day period to help restore the riparian zone.
After 1 year of growth
After approximately one year of growth the survival rate is greater than expected for the region. The eroded creek bank has already displayed new plant life, which stabilizes soil, prevents erosion, and slows stormwater flows.
This area will be monitored for improvements in water quality and habitat, showing signs of a healthy riparian zone.
The benefits of a healthy riparian zone are enduring and widespread. This project will have not only environmental, but social impact as well. The positive impacts of Wilson's Creek Riparian Restoration Project are not only local but regional, not only aesthetic but economic, not only for the present but for the future.