The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will pay for the re-routing of an “impaired” stream that pours into the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement Thursday.
Kid’s Creek is being moved to make way for a new cancer center at Munson Medical Center. With the move, the stream will also lifted into the daylight and out of culverts and ditches.
“This will really improve the fish habitat. It’ll improve the habitat for bugs and other things that live in that stream, and it’ll start to restore that stream,” says Sarah U’Ren, with Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. She says the group is ready to break ground on the Kids Creek project October 1st.
“So, they’re going to be making the new stream channel over the next few months. And then in the spring we’ll plant that with nice native grasses and shrubs and trees,” she says.
“We’ll give it a season to grow, and then in the fall we’ll actually release the water through the whole new channel.”
U’Ren says the urban stream is also poor habitat today because of sediments that flow in from poor storm water runoff systems. The half million dollar grant will also be used to improve those storm water systems at the hospital.
Leaders expect the cancer center and the re-routed stream to be completed in about a year.