St. Peters Invests in Channel Improvements
All natural is not just good for you in groceries; it’s also the best practice for stream channels. Like natural ingredients in food are important for your health, natural plants are important to stream health. Plants native to the stream area grow deep roots along the bank and filter pollutants such as fertilizer, household chemicals and pet waste that is washed from nearby neighborhoods. The roots also help to keep the soil in place along the banks.
St. Peters, Missouri was experiencing deteriorating stream banks in part because of invasive plants overgrowing along the banks not allowing the natural plants to grow. This was causing erosion and the City decided to do something about it. Voters passed four-tenths of a cent sales tax for parks and stormwater restoration. The tax is known as Proposition P and 23 streams were identified for reconstruction. Proposition P addressed neighborhood flooding issues and stream bank erosion. To improve water quality and create a more sustainable, natural environment green infrastructure was used.
GBA was hired to restore the streams in the Englewood neighborhood. The neighborhood had several Dardenne Creek tributaries, including a stream that cuts through the St. Peters Golf Course. The project was known as P-7.The goal of the project was to restore the channel and filter out pollutants with native plants while slowing down stormwater.
The design of P-7 included native plantings as well as building several rock and wood structures in the stream in order to slow down the flow of stormwater, restore flood plains, and reduce erosion along the stream. Rather than focusing on keeping the water in the stream’s banks, the project slowed the flow of the stormwater through the channel and spread it out so it comes out of stream banks and into floodplain areas. These improvements not only help with flooding and erosion but also improve the aesthetics of the creek and golf course.
The Englewood neighborhood project will be completed in 2015, but it is only one of the many stream channel projects. As the projects continue to progress and more channel stabilization work is completed, St. Peters is controlling erosion along stream channels as well as beautifying the area with natural plants.