Grand Opening Celebration, Saturday, June 22, 5:30 to 8pm.

The City of Ann Arbor, in partnership with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, recently completed a streambank stabilization project on Traver Creek,

Traver Creek Restoration
Photo: Scott Spooner

extending through the Leslie Park Golf Course. The project corrected severe streambank erosion and addressed high volumes of sediment and attached pollutants that were being removed and deposited downstream.

This project is a partnership between the city and the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office. Departments within the city that worked collaboratively include Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation, Natural Area Preservation and Water Quality Management.

The scope of this project included Traver Creek being regraded, stabilized and naturalized. This project will alleviate downstream flooding, and address bank erosion as well as reduction of the phosphorus load in Traver Creek, tributary to the Huron River. In addition, there was an opportunity to create an area with native wetland plantings to establish an inline constructed wetland. Constructed wetlands are one of the best methods for pollutant removal, mitigation of peak flow rates and even reduce runoff volumes. They also can provide considerable aesthetic and wildlife benefits.

Interesting project-related facts:

  • Length of channel: 3,300 feet
  • Earth moved: 30,000 cubic yards
  • Native Area/Wetland created: 6.5 acres
  • Native restoration: 10.2 acres
  • Erosion prevented: 687 tons annually
  • Native trees planted: 79
  • Native shrubs planted: 347
  • Species of wildflower seed planted: over 50
  • Daylighted/reestablished the Arrowwood branch of the Traver Creek
  • Aquatic habitat structures installed to create riffles and runs
  • Approximately $865,000 received in grant funding for water quality improvements

Flooding and bank erosion not only affect water quality, but increase golf course maintenance and sometimes limit golf play. For these reasons, the project was designed to help stabilize the creek channel and increase the drainage capacity of Traver Creek on Leslie Park Golf Course. The ponds on holes 12 and 17 were reconfigured to slow runoff that occurs after a rainstorm and will help capture sediment.

HRWC staff and volunteers conducted water quality monitoring prior to and during construction. We plan to continue monitoring for the coming 3-5 years to determine effectiveness of the project. Prior to the project, it was determined that the section of creek being repaired was releasing 48% more phosphorus than upstream and 200% more than downstream sections. Also, HRWC volunteers, along with Leslie Science and Nature Center camp youth conducted benthic macroinvertebrate evaluation, temperature study, and water chemistry analysis.

The public is invited to see and learn how the improvements benefit water quality, the environment, and enhance the golfing experience at the award winning Leslie Park Golf Course. The grand opening event takes place Saturday, June 22, 5:30 to 8 p.m. and will feature tours, games, and refreshments will be served.