Williams Creek An Urban Streambank Restoration Project by Kawartha Conservation

This project, lead by Kawartha Conservation, was possible thanks to the support of many partners. It has been completed in cooperation with the owners of the 1st Financial building where the work was completed, the members of the Church of the Ascension which is adjacent to the affected site, the Province of Ontario through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, the Region of Durham, and the Scugog Environmental Advisory Committee. This is the first part of a larger ecological restoration effort planned for William’s Creek, and serves as the springboard for further restoration efforts along the creek.

William’s Creek is Port Perry’s most urbanized watercourse, with watershed characteristics that compromises its hydrology, water quality, and ecological function significantly. High stormwater flows in particular cause erosion upstream and sedimentation downstream, and create the kind of disturbed areas that are ideal for the establishment of invasive plants.

The Problem

Invasive plants, specifically Japanese knotweed, are prevalent along the banks of William’s Creek in Reflection Park. Streambank erosion in this reach presents an additional issue: the spread of Japanese knotweed root fragments downstream. Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant of great concern. Its roots can damage infrastructure and building foundations in areas where it has not been controlled, and once established, it is especially resilient to removal efforts. Invasive plant legislation has been introduced elsewhere – and will soon be introduced in Ontario as well - to explicitly control the spread of this plant.

Japanese knotweed along the southern streambank of William’s Creek at the east end of Reflection Park (outlined in red).

This project aimed to manage the isolated Japanese knotweed population in Reflection Park with the intent of eradicating it before it spreads further downstream and results in more extensive and expensive control efforts.

William’s Creek exiting at the east end of Reflection Park through the John St. culvert. Notice the steep erosion and exposed roots of Japanese knotweed on the streambank (outlined in red). This area along the waterline is where the boulder-toe would be placed to reinforce the bank.

The Process

A number of steps were involved in preparing the site, as well as removal of existing Japanese knotweed and stabilization of the streambank, while reducing on-site erosion and sedimentation downstream.

Re-grading of the affected streambank to a stable 3:1 slope
In-stream reinforcement of the toe of the streambank with boulders
Reinforcing the affected area with by under seeding with a temporary annual species, and installing jute textile.
Planting native potted plants and two large trees to replace the two trees to be removed during grading in Stage 2.
A number of volunteers, including those from the Church of the Ascension in Port Perry helped with planting of the area.

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