On January 11, 2018 Kenosha County (Wisconsin) Executive Jim Kreuser announced that Kenosha County Parks has been awarded $200,000 from the Fund for Lake Michigan (FFLM) to support wetland restoration in the Pike River within Petrifying Springs Park.
The Petrifying Springs Park Wetland Restoration calls for restoration in the wetland area located in the southernmost branch of the Pike River in order to manage storm water. The funds from this grant will be used for the creation of tree islands and shallow wetlands to further improve water quality by planting a seed mix consisting of mesic prairie, wet prairie and woodland/savanna, which will encompass 3.9 acres.
“This grant will fund an important piece of a larger restoration of the Pike River in Kenosha County,” Kreuser said. “The end result will be a healthier Pike River and a cleaner Lake Michigan.”
The plan includes planting 34 trees, 86 shrubs and 4,600 wet prairie plants to create a view shed to allow for the creation of a vista clearance and educational features in the future. The intention of this project is to further diversify Kenosha County’s species in order to maintain healthy, functioning tree cover that will reduce storm water flow, soil erosion and sediment loading into nearshore waters.
“This critical spot holds great potential for capturing pollutants before they reach the river,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “It’s exciting to see the wetland design realized as an enhancement to the educational and recreational opportunities at Petrifying Springs Park.”
Construction work for this project will align with that of the Phase I streambank restoration efforts and is set for the summer of 2018. Kenosha County in September 2017 received a $500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Phase I streambank restoration. The entire three-phase project will address intertwined erosion, water quality and habitat concerns along 8,800 feet of the Pike River within Petrifying Springs Park.
Project design and engineering for the entire project was funded by a grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan in December 2015. FFLM is a donor-advised fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Inc. The organization is focused on making a profound impact on the health of Lake Michigan and its communities.
Photo of boys playing in the Pike River courtesy the Fund for Lake Michigan.