Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center  | 231.935.1514 ext. 5




TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – May 22, 2018 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay has two green infrastructure projects currently under construction within the Kids Creek watershed on Traverse City’s west side aimed at reducing the quantity and improving the quality of stormwater runoff.

“Kids Creek is a vital, cold water stream that outlets to the Boardman River and ultimately Grand Traverse Bay,” said Sarah U’Ren, Program Director at The Watershed Center. “Kids Creek is on Michigan’s Impaired Waters List due to excess stormwater, so for the past 15 years we have been working to fix that. Both of these projects continue our legacy of action and get us closer to our goal of having Kids Creek removed from the impaired list.”

Specifically, The Watershed Center is working on these projects:

Medical Campus Drive: In coordination with The Watershed Center, Munson Medical Center, and The Grand Traverse Pavilions, Molon Excavating, Inc. will be completing work on this busy road that will reduce the amount of stormwater from the road and surrounding parking lots from entering Kids Creek using green infrastructure practices.

“We are retrofitting existing grassy basins into bioretention basins near the helipad,” said Steve Tongue, Vice President of Facilities at Munson Medical Center. “This will increase the amount of stormwater that infiltrates into the ground rather than running down the road and into the creek. The bioretention basins act like large rain gardens, collecting stormwater and allowing it to naturally soak into the ground.”
“We will also be creating a rain garden at the east end of Medical Campus Drive near the entrance to the Grand Traverse Pavilions,” said U’Ren. In addition, four tree boxes will be installed along the street. These tree boxes are concrete structures that have an inlet where rain water from the street is funneled into the tree box rather than sending it down the storm drain. Most street trees do not receive runoff from the road.

These green infrastructure elements will all work in conjunction to significantly reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff that enters Kids Creek Tributary A from Medical Campus Drive and surrounding areas. Construction recently began and is expected to be complete by the end of June. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Program and Munson Medical Center funded the work.

Yellow Drive: Work will be conducted along Yellow Drive at the Grand Traverse Commons to reduce a significant source of sediment to Kids Creek Tributary AA. This unpaved road located between Spanglish and Left Foot Charley currently contributes a significant amount of sediment during heavy rain events. Construction plans include paving the road and directing runoff to drywells where it will be infiltrated into the ground. AJ’s Excavating will complete the work, which is funded by the Environmental Project Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and The Minervini Group.

There will be changes in traffic patterns and lane closures during construction. Your patience is appreciated.

In recognition of The Watershed Center’s 15 years of work on Kids Creek, they are hosting Kids Creek Week June 9-15, a week of events celebrating the creek. From fly fishing to yoga to an invasive species pull, there is something for everyone. Find all the details at

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