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NEW LOOK: On Swaggerty Creek.
  • NEW LOOK: On Swaggerty Creek.

 

The urban stream reclamation project at Swaggerty Park didn’t need any help from the state Game and Fish Commission to make the creek come alive.

The project, which the city’s Parks and Recreation Department points to as an illustration of the open space philosophy, returned Swaggerty Creek, for 30 years trapped in a trapezoidal concrete ditch as part of a channelization project, to nature.

Just three months after the completion of the project, crayfish and seven different species of fish were swimming in the creek, Rob Fisher of Ecological Conservation Organization (ECO) said. ECO revamped a quarter-mile section of Swaggerty Creek as part of the Parks and Recreation Department’s refurbishing of the South End park. “I was actually shocked at how fast it kind of reclaimed itself,” Fisher said.

With a $99,000 grant from the U.S. National Parks Service Urban Parks Program, ECO removed more than 100 dump-truck loads of broken concrete and 7,800 cubic yards of soil, brought in rocks, trees and plants and returned the stream to a more natural, meandering track in 2006.

The result, Fisher said, is a more beautiful creek, and higher property values for neighboring homeowners.

“I really liked the Swaggerty Creek project,” Fisher said. “It’s an underprivileged neighborhood, and it was really one of the first of its kind in the nation … where a stream was reclaimed from what was a concrete ditch.”

ECO has since gotten a $25,000 grant to continue work at Swaggerty Creek. The National Fish and Wildlife money will buy native grass, wildflowers, shrubs and trees to plant; other funds will be tapped to place boulders in the stream. Equipment will be donated to the Thrasher Boys and Girls Club nearby.

Fisher is also developing a monthly outdoor education project in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Club that will include outings along the restored section of Swaggerty Creek. “We’re going to get some handheld water quality units that they can actually put in the water and read.”

For more information about ECO, go to their website at: ecoconservation.org.

project at Swaggerty Park didn’t need any help from the state Game and Fish Commission to make the creek come alive.

The project, which the city’s Parks and Recreation Department points to as an illustration of the open space philosophy, returned Swaggerty Creek, for 30 years trapped in a trapezoidal concrete ditch as part of a channelization project, to nature.

Just three months after the completion of the project, crayfish and seven different species of fish were swimming in the creek, Rob Fisher of Ecological Conservation Organization (ECO) said. ECO revamped a quarter-mile section of Swaggerty Creek as part of the Parks and Recreation Department’s refurbishing of the South End park. “I was actually shocked at how fast it kind of reclaimed itself,” Fisher said.

With a $99,000 grant from the U.S. National Parks Service Urban Parks Program, ECO removed more than 100 dump-truck loads of broken concrete and 7,800 cubic yards of soil, brought in rocks, trees and plants and returned the stream to a more natural, meandering track in 2006.

The result, Fisher said, is a more beautiful creek, and higher property values for neighboring homeowners.

“I really liked the Swaggerty Creek project,” Fisher said. “It’s an underprivileged neighborhood, and it was really one of the first of its kind in the nation … where a stream was reclaimed from what was a concrete ditch.”

ECO has since gotten a $25,000 grant to continue work at Swaggerty Creek. The National Fish and Wildlife money will buy native grass, wildflowers, shrubs and trees to plant; other funds will be tapped to place boulders in the stream. Equipment will be donated to the Thrasher Boys and Girls Club nearby.

Fisher is also developing a monthly outdoor education project in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Club that will include outings along the restored section of Swaggerty Creek. “We’re going to get some handheld water quality units that they can actually put in the water and read.”

For more information about ECO, go to their website at: ecoconservation.org.

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