Avon Creek restoration continues

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published June 14, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — A $100,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant will aid with the continuing restoration of Avon Creek.

“This is actually phase four” of the restoration process, Rochester Hills Director of Public Services Allan Schneck said.

Phase four will complete the last portion of the creek restoration and will tie in with the efforts of the previous phases, connecting the restoration across the entire Rochester Hills City Hall campus region south of Avon Road, west of Livernois.

“The scope of work here is about 300 feet of stream bank, as far as restoration, fisheries and aquatic improvement,” Schneck said. The effort also supports the Clinton River watershed strategic implementation plan, Schneck said.

Avon Creek is part of the Clinton River Area of Concern, a designated area that is part of the Lake Huron drainage area. 

The effort began when the watershed was found to have suffered from years of degradation due to industrial activities and development. The result was the loss of fish and wildlife habitat and reductions in fish populations, said city officials.

The restoration allows natural stream meanders in a designated stretch of the creek to reduce sediment entering the stream, restore fish habitat and reduce water temperatures.

“The project started back in 2010,” Schneck said. “The city took upon itself to spend $90,000 in phase one.” Subsequently, Avon Creek phases two and three water quality enhancements and restoration project grant contracts were approved in 2011 for $135,000 and in 2012 for $90,000. 

Total costs for the latest effort are estimated to be $150,000, paid for by the MDNR grant, Rochester Hills budgeted funds and the Clinton River Watershed Council. By a unanimous vote June 5, the Rochester Hills City Council approved acceptance of the grant.

“This is a great example of how the small opportunities can get more from grants,” City Councilman Kevin Brown said. “Every dollar counts. We appreciate your team looking out for these opportunities,” he told Schneck. 

“The mayor (Bryan Barnett) and the City Council create a culture and environment that allow us to excel and pursue these grants,” Schneck said. “It is exceptional, and it surely shows and demonstrates the environmental stewardship to these natural resources.”