Crew repurposes cedar trees to restore trout habitat

 Photo: Corps members Bethany Dahl, Drew Wilwert, Jennie LaRoche, Travis Wilder and Joe McCarthy with Rich Stemper of the Root River SWCD stand on the banks of Riceford Creek in Spring Grove, which they stabilized using tree revetments.

 Photo: Corps members Bethany Dahl, Drew Wilwert, Jennie LaRoche, Travis Wilder and Joe McCarthy with Rich Stemper of the Root River SWCD stand on the banks of Riceford Creek in Spring Grove, which they stabilized using tree revetments.

After June flooding carved out the banks of Riceford Creek in southeast Minnesota and deposited an excessive amount of sediment, the Root River SWCD partnered with the Nature Conservancy and Conservation Corps to stabilize the banks of the creek with a natural resource: cedar trees. The cedars were cleared from nearby bluffs that have become overrun, and laid along the shoreline to create a barrier that captures sediment. A regrowth of vegetation should eventually build up the banks and narrow the creek. Corps members waded into the creek and attached the trees to the banks with steel cables. The cedar barriers, called tree revetments, are a cost-effective and natural way to stabilize the creek and improve its trout habitat, which thrives on the more vigorous flow of a narrower creek. Rich Stemper of the Root River SWCD praised the crew for their excellent work and great attitude while working in some extremely hot weather during four weeks of the summer and early fall.

Read press coverage about the project: MPR, Spring Grove Herald and Calendonia Argus.