May 15, 2013
Charlottesville is already a place filled with streams and trails but now that the Meadow Creek restoration has completed, there is just one more location to enjoy.
The Meadow Creek restoration has been talked about since May 2006. The creek runs through Greenbrier Park off of Hydraulic Road in Charlottesville.
Before the restoration, banks were eroding and the water was polluted. These issues were not only causing problems locally but Meadow Creek is a part of the tributary that ends in the Chesapeake Bay.
Dianne Frisbee, Stream Project Manager with The Nature Conservancy, said, "Meadow Creek is a tributary of the Rivanna River which ultimately flows to the James River which ultimately flows to the Chesapeake Bay. So, sediment carries carries with it pollutants, such as, nutrients that are a major problem and cause of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. It's actually a domino effect of what happens here goes all the way down stream."
After seven years of planning and constructing, Meadow Creek has transformed into a two mile, 70 acre oasis.
Frisbee said, "Folks just could be walking through this park and maybe not even know the stream or just think it's an ugly ditch. We've been able to reduce the heights of those really steep banks and slope them back so that folks that can walk in the trail now can see the creeks but can safely get in it and look for different critters that might be living in the stream and really have that connection."
Now that the restoration is complete, the City of Charlottesville is able to focus on improving the trails to make them better for recreation and relaxation.
Chris Gensic, Parks and Trails Planner for The City of Charlottesville, said, "Through this process we've managed to acquire about 40 acres or parkland, which mean that stream and that trail will always be publicly accessible and now we can make improvements to it that we couldn't make when it was on private property."
The plans include adding picnic tables and more bridges. They want to keep the area as natural and quiet as possible.
Gensic said, "We're very close to the Route 29 corridor here. To have this close to Seminole Square Shopping that are completely opposite environments. The more urban you get the better it is to have these oases you can come down to get your sanity and your soul restored with some nature and then go back to your work."
The plans for the new trails are going to be discussed at the June 3rd city council meeting.
There is a celebration and unveiling of the Meadow Creek Restoration Saturday, May 18th.