The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay has been awarded a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from U.S. EPA.  This newest $500,000 grant involves a partnership with Munson Medical Center to restore a section of Kids Creek.

Kids Creek is on the state of  Michigan’s list of impaired waters due to being overloaded with sediments and high water flows.

The project will coincide with preparations for the construction of a new Cancer Center on the northern part of Munson’s campus, anticipated to break ground in 2014.

“Approximately half of the funds will be used to daylight and naturalize a section of Kids Creek running through the Munson campus, and the other half could be used for Low Impact Development green infrastructure,” says Sarah U’Ren, Program Director, “which may include rain gardens, green roofs and pervious pavement.”  Such green infrastructure absorbs more runoff, which will help reduce sedimentation impacts on Kids Creek.

The section of Kids Creek running through Munson’s campus will be restored by replacing 900 feet of underground culverts and channelized ditches with a natural, above-ground meandering channel. This is called daylighting the creek.  The new stream channel will eliminate 73,000 square feet of impervious area; establish 27,000 square feet of floodplain; and create a 15- to 30-foot-wide buffer between the hospital campus and surrounding neighborhoods.  The buffer will be planted with attractive flowers and shrubs that will absorb more runoff and also provide a healing garden for Munson patients and their loved ones.

Building demolition for the new creek path is underway on Munson’s campus. The creek will crossBeaumont Avenueand then meander betweenBeaumont Avenueand the adjacent alley before crossing Sixth Street to meet the existing channel.  Work on the daylighting project is expected to be completed by October 2013.

“Munson does a wonderful job healing people in our community, and now it’s doing a wonderful job healing the waters that are so vital to our Up North quality of life,” says Andy Knott, Executive Director.

Munson is generously providing $500,000 in matching funds.  The design and restoration plans for this project have been developed in consultation with the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

You can check out photos on Facebook.

Top image courtesy of Munson Medical Center

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