Stream and Farm Restoration Update: Radzwich Farm
Work began early this spring to restore a section of a tributary to the Beaver Branch of Spruce Creek on the Radzwich Farm. Jim Haney, stream restoration project manager with The WHM Group, and Bud Snyder Excavating restored the streambanks by grading, rebuilding, and finally restoring them with toewood, rock, soil, willow cuttings, coconut mats, and native grasses. These components stabilize a streambank and protect it from erosion. Live stakes were planted into the new streambanks by ClearWater volunteers to add additional roots and plants, which stabilize the banks further.
Streambank fencing, built by R&R Fencing, and livestock crossings, built by Bud Snyder Excavating with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, were installed to allow access to all the different pasture areas, while keeping the farm animals out of the stream. Removing livestock from streams is good for both the stream and herd health and prevents sediment and nutrients from flowing downstream through the Beaver Branch and then into Spruce Creek. A water trough and feeder were installed uphill, away from the stream, to replace the stream as a water source and improve the pasture management for the farmer.
After all the Agricultural Best Management Practices are installed, the final step is to naturalize the stream buffer area by planting native trees and shrubs. Planted by Native Creations Landscape Services, the plants will shade the stream and maintain the cool water temperatures needed in trout streams and provide necessary leaf litter and woody debris for aquatic life to thrive. As the native plants mature, they create habitat for a host of species that live in the streamside riparian zone and benefit from a healthy stream.
Funding for streambank projects come from grants from many government agencies and private foundations as well as from private donations made to ClearWater’s Riparian Conservation Program. ClearWater wants to extend our thanks to all the contributors who make stream and farm restoration projects possible.
And last but not least, the biggest thanks goes to the Radzwich family for their dedication and commitment to the health of their stream and their respect for the agricultural operation on their property. The Radzwich’s have been working side by side with ClearWater staff and the farmer to bring everyone together to steward both the natural and agricultural resources on their land.