Purcell Park Stream Restoration Begins!

Thanh -- January 18th, 2009

After several years of planning and hard work by many dedicated people and agencies, the Purcell Park Stream Restoration project’s groundbreaking will be held on Thursday January 29, 2009, 10AM at Purcell Park. The groundbreaking event is open to the public; everyone is invited to attend.

Artist Rendering of Purcell Park in 20 years
Artist Rendering of Purcell Park in 20 years

The Purcell Park stream restoration project will restore approximately 4,750 linear feet of Blacks Run and two tributaries.  A collaborative effort undertaken by the City of Harrisonburg and numerous partners, this project will use natural channel design techniques to restore a significant length of severely degraded stream system in this urban watershed.  

The restored channel will lead to a significant decrease in sedimentation to Blacks Run resulting from what are now unstable and badly eroded banks. The restoration activities will reconfigure the channelized stream segments to a more natural water course.  The buffer areas along the streams (often called “riparian buffers”) will be planted with native shrub and tree species and the banks will be stabilized with live plant material stakes.  A healthy vegetated riparian buffer will serve to further reduce sedimentation and nutrient run-off and provide beneficial shade for a variety of aquatic species.  The anticipated outcomes and benefits of this restoration effort are improved water quality and enhanced aquatic and terrestrial habitat. 

The idea and initial planning for this project began in 2004 when the Canaan Valley Institute came to Harrisonburg to assess Blacks Run’s potential for stream restoration, as described in this article from 2006. Funding for design and construction was received from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. A conservation easement was donated in 2006 by the City to the Valley Conservation Council, a regional land trust, to ensure that the land around the stream will never be developed.

Visitors visitto the park will seen large equipment and machines around the stream in Purcell Park this winter season. After the stream channels have been redesigned, plantings will occur in this Spring 2009 and interpretive educational signage (on topics related to stream health, fish and wildlife, riparian buffers, pollution sources, etc) will be installed in the Park.

More information about the January 29th Groundbreaking event and the project can be found at www.cleanstream.org. Questions can be directed to Lee Foerster, Director of Parks & Recreation at 433-9168.

 

4 Responses to “Purcell Park Stream Restoration Begins!”

  1. Renee says:

    I thought this was a nice post, and I’m glad to hear the Park part of the stream is being restored. I also think installing the signs about the stream is a good addition.

    I had opinions to post on other threads when this one came out, but I don’t like seeing posts I enjoyed going without any comments, so there ya go :)

  2. Thanh says:

    Purcell Restoration Project Groundbreaking is today at 10am!

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