Exciting restoration and beautification projects are happening in Norton Creek, which resides in the Northeast area of our watershed. We are currently developing plans for a Spring 2019 installation.
Norton Creek in Oakland County has 110 miles of branching stream channels and it drains 24 square miles of land, meaning all the water in this area from the surface and below ground flows into Norton Creek. In this creekshed, there are 17 lakes, including Wolverine Lake, 72 ponds, and many wetlands.
Historically, the Norton creekshed was rural with many farms. In recent decades, it has become urban and suburban. The creek was channelized in many places to support agriculture and much of the land was developed as the population increased. The Huron River Watershed Council conducted an extensive study of the creek from 2014-2016 and identified three main concerns: slow moving water, poor habitat conditions for wildlife, and pollution. In addition, this creek was identified as having increased risk of floods in the future as southeast Michigan experiences larger and more frequent rain events.
We are installing three projects in the Wixom’s Gibson Park to protect and restore the creek. This year we will:
- Build rain gardens to filter stormwater runoff before it enters the creek and reduce flooding
- Plant shoreline natives to absorb stormwater and prevent erosion
- Create habitat in the creek to restore more natural flows
For this project, we are working with Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and the City of Wixom, with the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund and Pure Oakland Water.