Blackwell - Spring Brook No. 1 Wetland & Creek Restoration Phase 2
Work on this large-scale restoration project along Spring Brook through Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville is substantially complete. The only work remaining is vegetation maintenance and tree plantings this year, and next year a crew needs to finish a small section of tree and brush removal.
The restoration project:
- Meandered the waterway — replacing a straight ditch created decades ago — and create wetlands to convey upstream stormwater and treated effluent
- Connected the creek to the floodplain, allowing nutrient-rich floodwaters to more easily flow into the surrounding forest preserve to revitalize the floodplain’s natural ability to temporarily store and filter stormwater
- Removed a dam to allow fish to swim freely upstream
- Added gravels, cobbles and boulders to the creek to improve habitat for macroinvertebrates, fish and freshwater mussels
- Enhanced drier, higher ground along the creek by removing invasive, nonnative vegetation and replacing with native species
- Replaced a deteriorating bridge and move the West Branch DuPage River Trail out of the floodplain
Since 2015 the Forest Preserve has worked on a stretch of Spring Brook Creek upstream at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville. Fish and freshwater mussels are now able to move further and further upstream, and wildlife — including spotted sandpipers — and native hibiscus are benefiting from a revitalized habitat. Visitors not only enjoy the sounds of the babbling creek but also the opportunity to view native plants and animals.