Thursday, January 12, 2012

Traver Creek Streambank Stabilization

The City of Ann Arbor (which owns Leslie Park Golf Course), in partnership with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office, has proposed a streambank stabilization project for Traver Creek, which runs through Leslie Park. This project will be financed through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's State Revolving Loan Fund. There is an opportunity for up to 50% of the cost of the project to be forgiven depending on the level of environmentally sound practices utilized during restoration. The funding would come out of the city and county stormwater budgets over the next 20 years. The city of Ann Arbor is at the forefront of municipalities in the state of Michigan in using stormwater funds to proactively manage water courses to positively effect stormwater quality during high-precipitation events. What this means is that the city uses these funds to ecologically manage surface water instead of just fixing broken or damaged sewers.

The goals of the project are functional (by improving stormwater infrastructure), ecological (sediment removal, phosphorous reduction and habitat improvement) and recreational (improving aesthetics on the golf course). The golf course will be partnering with the city water quality manager and the county's water resources office as well as Ann Arbor's Natural Areas Preservation Division and the Huron River Watershed Council to make sure that this project meets the environmental goals that have been set forth.

The Spicer Group has been brought aboard to develop a plan and assess the hydrologic, hydraulic and geomorphic conditions that occur on Traver Creek. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in November 2012, with major construction completed before April 2013. A major consideration for all parties involved is to impact golf as little as possible. Although the construction will be complete, it could take up to two full seasons before Traver Creek and the habitat surrounding the creek areas fully mature. During the first season, most of the banks will be populated by grasses whose primary purpose is to hold the soil in place while the perennial native plants take hold.

It is important to note that at this point, no plans have been finalized, so it is nearly impossible to know what the final project will look like or involve. A write-up of the proposal that was brought before the Ann Arbor Parks Advisory Committee was featured in the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Below are some photos of the erosion and overflow problems that we have seen. You may remember a similar, though much smaller scale, project from the Summer of 2010. You can find out more HERE. I will keep you updated on this exciting project as we know more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December 2011 Weather Summary

Happy New Year!

I apologize for not having any updates for December. Things are slowing down and I have had some much needed time off.

For December, the high temperature was 56.6 degrees, on the 15th. The low temp was 10.4 (Dec 10th.) The average temperature was 34.7. 23 days had low temps below 32 degrees, while 4 days had high temperatures that not get above freezing. The average temperature for the year was 50.0 degrees.

With all of the cold weather in December, we still got 2.51 inches of rain. That brings the total rain 2011 to 41.79 inches. The month had 12 days of at least a trace of rain and 7 days with over a tenth of an inch.  For the year, we had 133 days with at least a trace of rain and 82 days of a tenth or more. We had 7 days with over an inch of rain for 2011.

The high wind speed was 30 mph (15th) with an average of 4.0 mph. The highest wind speed recorded for 2011 was 42 mph on November 9th. Average speed for the year was 3.7.