Erosion Monitoring Pin by Dave Wilson
Erosion Monitoring Pin at Belleville Lake

Dave Wilson is a great example of the stewardship our watershed needs. Over the past year Dave, with members of Woods Creek Friends and students at the Ann Arbor Learning Community and Belleville High School, has installed erosion monitoring pins in eroding banks on Paint Creek, Belleville Lake, a tributary to Malletts Creek, and Woods Creek. These ten inch metal “nails” are pounded into an eroding bank, be it on a creek or lake. Dave and his co-stewards return later to measure how much soil has eroded away by measuring how much of the nail has been exposed during the period of study. At Belleville Lake there’s a significantly eroding location due to road runoff, groundwater seeping, and lake water erosion. The two photos in this blog illustrate the substantial amount of erosion happening there. Of course HRWC is interested in sites like this as they play a significant role in degrading the health of the Huron River.

Belleville Lake Erosion by Dave Wilson
Bank Erosion at Belleville Lake

Early in May, Dave presented to the Van Buren Township Environmental Commission, asking the township to pursue resolving the erosion problem on Belleville Lake. Dave’s presentation was met with great concern. Terry Carroll, Van Buren Township Director of Planning and Economic Development was appalled at the damage, and agreed that this is a high priority item and that Quirk Road is threatened.  More work will need to be done, as ownership is currently in dispute.  The Environmental Commission is planning to pursue this with vigor.

Dave has also called some eroding sites on Paint Creek just south of I-94 to the attention of the Ypsilanti Township Water Conservation Advisory Commission, which is now working on the problem with the township and with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commission.

HRWC is looking for more stewards. If you have a site at which you think bank erosion may be a problem, get in touch with Dave ( for information on the use of erosion pins to measure erosion rates; this is NOT rocket science. Contact Jason ( for more information about being a Huron River Steward.