Watershed Stabilization Project Completed: Summer 2011
With help from our partners and supporters, Fontenelle Forest successfully completed an erosion stabilization project this summer. Due to years of storm runoff, Coffin Springs Hollow in Fontenelle Forest had eroded into a five-hundred-foot-long gully. Soil repeatedly washed from the area into the nearby stream and was thus threatening the health of our Great Marsh ecosystem.
To mitigate this problem, a contractor and FF staff installed a storm water piping system, stabilized the hollow’s steep grade and seeded the area with native grasses. Three weeks after the project was completed, the area experienced its first test when a severe storm blew in. We are pleased to report that after 5.5 inches of heavy rain, no damage to the site occurred. The piping worked and the grasses held – victory!This project was made possible through a grant from The Nebraska Environmental Trust and funds from the City of Bellevue and the Papio-Missouri River NRD.
If you have hiked Fontenelle Forest over the years, you certainly witnessed the increasing erosion in Childs and Mill Hollows. Trails have been undermined, foot bridges washed out and siltation on the floodplain has encouraged the spread of invasive reed canary grass at the expense of jewelweed and other native wetland plants.
To address these issues, FF staff organized the Bellevue Watershed Task Force in 2007 with representatives from FF, the City of Bellevue, Papio-Missouri NRD, Sarpy County Roads Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a Watershed Stabilization Study of the three watersheds most impacted by development. Coffin Springs Hollow was deemed the highest priority due to its extensive erosion. This study was funded through Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund and in-kind contributions from FF, the City of Bellevue and the Papio-Missouri NRD.
Plan your escape this summer with Nebraska Passport. Get a stamp at Fontenelle Forest.