Some days, working in restored urban streams is quite enjoyable. The picture below is one of our field sites for a multi-year study of the downstream effects of stormwater management. This is Edwards Branch, and it is one of the jewels of Charlotte’s intensive efforts to restore its urban waterways.
This reach was restored in 2002, with additional work done in 2005 and 2008. Among the features of this project was the creation of a large stormwater wetland, which lies between the two branches of the stream and is just out of sight in the picture above. The stream channel was also restored using a variety of standard techniques including bioengineering, rock steps, bank regrading, and riparian planting. You can see some of those practices at work if you look closely at the picture below.
Edwards Branch certainly shows the signs of human activities, but amidst the dense foliage, with the clear baseflow, it would be easy to think of stream restoration as a cure-all for the woes of urban streams. That it most certainly is not. And sometimes it’s not so pretty, but that’s a post for another day. For now, enjoy today’s Scenic Saturday.