USACE Restores Ecosystem in Parkville, MissouriPosted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 by Jason Davis
In Federal Services, tagged in Tags: ecosystem restoration
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is in the process of restoring wetland and riparian habitats in a 130-acres site in the Missouri River floodplain in Parkville, Missouri. The restoration effort is aimed at increasing native plant and animal diversity by adding native plantings to two existing wetland areas and grading and shaping one of these areas into a larger feature with different elevation zones that will grow and attract different species. Our plans created these zones by excavating deeper submerged wetland areas that transition to the surrounding upland areas.
One of the largest challenges was that the larger graded wetland site lacked adequate hydrology to maintain wetland characteristics during dry periods of the summer. Hydrology to this wetland is largely provided by surface drainage, and during prolonged dry periods, this wetland will dry out, harming the wetland plantings. To maintain adequate hydrology during dry times, the project includes a temporary pump and piping system that will allow water to be pulled from nearby Rush Creek, pumped through the piping system, and discharged into the larger graded wetland to provide hydrology.
Project restoration activities include the establishment of numerous native plant species throughout the wetland and riparian restoration areas that are not currently represented there. Our teaming partner Vireo prepared a planting plan that included vegetation that thrives in shallow water and the transition zone conditions surrounding both wetland areas. Numerous tree species were introduced into upland and riparian areas as well.
Providing ecosystem restoration in urban areas, like this one, helps create biodiversity that isn’t usually found in an urban or agricultural environment. The restoration of habitat through the establishment of native plantings helps attract new wildlife to the area, possibly including threatened and endangered species and migratory birds. USACE sees the value in creating these places and remains committed to restoring them through their dedicated ecosystem restoration funding mechanism, the Section 1135 Ecosystem Restoration program.
This work benefits like-minded communities, such as Parkville, Missouri. Prior to beginning this project, the city invested in the area by building a boat ramp and a dog park. They also have plans to more fully develop this park around the new ecosystem restoration areas. The completed Section 1135 Ecosystem Restoration project will be an extension of the current amenities in the Parkville Bottoms area, enriching and adding to them.