Douglas Creek, a stream that winds its way through the south end of Meadowbrook Park, is poised for rehabilitation and restoration this summer. The start of the park district project is concurrent with work being done by adjacent property owners to improve water flow on their own property.
Park district staff members have already removed invasive brush and tree blockages at the southernmost end of the Meadowbrook Property in preparation of the creek work, explained superintendent of planning and operations Derek Liebert.
“This week, property to the east of the creek had a replacement drainage tile installed that extends to the Meadowbrook property line. Until Douglas Creek is restored, these interim improvements will allow for improved water flow,” he said.
“More significant improvements will take place later this summer when it is less wet and conditions are more suitable,” Liebert added.
Meadowbrook Park has been restored in multiple phases over the past 30 plus years, and the creeks with their surrounding stream corridors are among the last remaining phases.
“We are excited to be able to better manage not only the stream itself, but the adjacent Walker Grove, which is a savanna habitat. We will be able to use prescribed fire more efficiently both there and along Douglas Creek”, Liebert explained.
This project is the first of its kind for the park district and the process and outcome will help the park district plan for the restoration of other sections of Douglas Creek or for McCullough Creek, explained project manager Caitlin Lill.
“The designers have completed several successful streambed restoration projects for other organizations, so we expect the same outcome here. Park visitors will see a more open stream corridor, and with that they can look forward to enjoying more diversity of wildlife,” she said.
Questions about the Douglas Creek Restoration project should be directed to Urbana Park District project manager Caitlin Lill at 217-344-9583.
A draft plan for all the phases of the Douglas Creek improvement can be found on the park district website http://www.urbanaparks.org/assets/1/6/Draft_Douglas_Creek_Enhancement_Plan.pdf.