Native plants, fish passage will make a difference
Posted on 10/05/2020
The cleared banks of the Johnson Creek prior to replanting.Work is progressing well on the clean-up and reconstruction along the banks of the Johnson Creek and pond in Fish Hatchery Park. The pond was dredged and approximately 2,000 cubic yards of sediment was removed along with old tree stumps, twisted roots and natural debris. The resulting deeper pond along with newly created step pools between the pond and creek will enable fish to move readily between the two bodies of water.

The Johnson Creek is one of the few cold water creeks in southeastern Michigan that also supports a trout population.

Construction crews from Anglin Civil cleared the creek bank during the summer and have begun driving sheet metal pilings into the ground to support both the banks and the new vegetation that will grow there. That process is expected to last through mid October. After that, 350 native plants and 250 trees will be planted along the 1,050 ft. creek bank, weather permitting. Visitors are asked not to enter the newly planted areas until the vegetation is established next spring.

Native plants survive well in their natural climate, can resist disease better than non-native plants, and develop deep roots to anchor the ground and prevent soil erosion. By Spring 2021, new growth will start to flourish – giving the park a whole new look and making the pond and creek a cleaner habitat for fish, insects, wildlife and plants.

In addition, a newly created bioswale between the pond and gravel parking lot will help prevent dirt and debris from entering the pond, and filter rainwater through vegetation.

The project was designed by Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. with engineering support from Soil Materials and Engineers (SME). It is being funded by a $963,090 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and administered by the Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC), a group of local municipalities, counties and other institutions, which work to improve water quality of the Rouge River watershed.

The Rouge River feeds into the Detroit River, which supplies the area’s drinking water. Read more about the project on the ARC website.

If you visit the park, note that the tennis courts/pickle ball courts are available for use on a first-come, first-serve basis. The ball fields are not open and the pavilion can’t be rented at this time. Walkers, runners and hikers are encouraged to use other parks at this time due to the construction equipment and large piles of waste materials. Good alternatives are Ford Field, Maybury State Park, Hines Park, the Bennett Arboretum Pathway, off Sheldon and 7 Mile, and Northville’s historic downtown and neighborhoods.