WHITE CREEK ON-CAMPUS RESTORATION EFFORT SELECTED AS #1 PROJECT IN U.S.
Storm Water Solutions (SWS) honors outstanding industry projects in their annual Top Storm & Water Erosion Control Project awards. In SWS’ November/December magazine issue, they featured The Gardens at Texas A&M University | Leach Teaching Gardens (The Gardens) for the White Creek storm water and erosion control project. The article featured White Creek through The Gardens and downstream by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Brayton Fire Training Field. The extensive project was selected as Storm Water Solutions’ #1 top project for 2018. Storm Water Solutions writes, “Project leaders from across the country nominated projects in the design or construction phase in the 18 months prior to nomination. The SWS editorial staff selected 10 winning projects to highlight, including a No. 1 Top Project. Common themes among the 2018 winning projects were the use of innovative solutions in the face of adversity and collaboration with community members.”
The ongoing creek restoration project is sponsored by TAMU Utilities and Energy Services (UES), while the portion of White Creek, referred to as Tributary D, is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife. Both projects are contracted to Dave Hails, Senior/Certified Ecologist of Ecological Restoration, Inc. Mr. Hails has been with the company for 33 years and has an impressive 38 years total in this field. He specializes in creek restoration by implementation of natural stream design and energy patterns and other physical and biological factors created as storm water is collected through rivers and streams.
Under the leadership of Douglas F. Welsh, Ph.D., Program Coordinator, The Gardens at Texas A&M University, The Gardens project began in 2015. Dr. Welsh’s role was to serve as the client representative for The Vice Chancellor’s Office of Texas A&M AgriLife during the design and construction of the White Creek restoration on the 27 acre site of The Gardens at Texas A&M University, as well as the conceptual design of The Gardens.
At that time, White Creek was experiencing severe bank erosion that had to be mitigated to create a safe environment for both structures and walking paths along the stream. The Texas A&M University Gardens project team brought in Stanley Consultants for the creek restoration. Dave Derrick of River Research and Design helped in this effort. Mr. Derrick has over 35 years of experience working for the U.S. Corp of Engineers studying river flows and erosion and he helped in the design work by assisting with erosion control. Dave Hails then did the actual installation.
Through the help of both Dave Derrick’s and Dave Hails’ design and construction efforts, today, The Gardens’ White Creek contains 8 locations with unique combinations of pools and rock riffles, preserving the natural beauty of the area. Environmental scientists refer to this type of area as a riparian zone, which is the interface between land and a river or stream. The strategic placement of the pools and rock riffles helps to slow down the stream’s velocity and limit the bank erosion. Not only that, they also create a natural environment for wildlife to thrive in the riparian zones through The Gardens.
The full article highlighting the project can be accessed via this link: