Are you wondering what’s going on at Riverside Park with all the construction and equipment? The answer is riverbank stabilization! If you’ve walked on the pathway recently you may have noticed areas where the riverbank is eroding away, and in some places, the pathway is eroding away with it.
Erosion happens when soil and rock are removed from the Earth’s surface by wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations. Riverbanks can be especially prone to erosion with wind, rain, and when there are no native plantings, leaving the bank vulnerable. When sediment is eroded into the river it can be problematic in a few ways. One is that a large amount of sediment can cause the river to rise, making it more prone to flooding. Secondly, sediment often contains pollutants, which has a negative impact on the health of plant and animal life in the river.
In order to better protect the water quality, aquatic and riparian habitat, and existing structures, it is important to strengthen the bank to prevent erosion. The riverbank stabilization project is doing just that. The riverbank is being strengthened through a variety of methods approved by The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Water Resources Division. The riverbank will then be restored with some native plantings, leaving some areas with continued access to the river. We hope the community will enjoy the benefits of a stable riverbank years into the future.
Sage Hegdal, Recreation Director