Projects In Progress

Midfield Wetlands Walk (2016 – present)

Location: From 134 Conway Avenue north along community path to 6700 Midfield Road.  The creekside walk may be accessed from the eastern ends of Elwood, Dumont, and Conway Streets, where the streets dead-end at the river.

Objective: Remove invasive plant species from wetlands, meadow and upland forest area following the Midfield Road paper street community path from Conway Ave north to Sir Oliver Road. The Project’s focus areas include:

1) Shoreline removal of invasive non-native Common Reed (Phragmites australis) from the creekfront path area along Conway, Dumont and Elwood Avenue shoreline – replanting with native grasses and shrubs to improve the health of the wetlands, enhance the wildlife habitat and increase plant diversity.

2) Removal of invasive shrubs and vines from the Elwood Meadow, and replanting with native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, to stabilize the meadow area and shoreline and further enhance wildlife and plant species diversity.

3) Removal of invasive trees, shrubs and vines, and ultimately, to modify failing existing hardscape shoreline to natural shoreline in the Fayton Ave/ Sir Oliver Road upland forest area to stabilize wooded shoreline and forest area, renew growth of native species, expand species diversity, and enhance wildlife habitat.

This project began in early 2016 with a 3 to 5 year timeline.  Total planned budget for wetlands restoration is $4,800.

Status as of August 2020:

  • Over 12,000 square feet of phragmites has been removed and cleared.
  • Over 4,000 plugs of a variety of native grasses and plants have been planted along the wetlands shoreline and in the meadow area.
  • Plantings included over 200 native flowering plants donated by native plant expert and Lafayette Wetlands Partnership member Nicole Knudson.
  • With Norfolk City support, in 2018 an additional 30 native shrubs and 9 native trees were planted in the wetland and meadow areas of the Wetlands Walk.
  • About a dozen native trees and shrubs were also planted along the pathway in 2019.
  • Hand-clipping of the Phragmites was done in July 2020.
  • Approximately 550 volunteer hours have been contributed during 14 work events.

Future plans:

  • Annual maintenance will be required to prevent the invasive, non-native Phragmites australis from regaining strength at this site.  Clipping the Phragmites in summer, herbicide application in the fall and debris removal in winter will probably be required annually.

Partners:

  • Financial support from LWP, Cromwell Farm/ Ellsworth Civic League and residents, and Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund  ($4,820).
  • Shrubs and trees donated by the City of Norfolk.
  • Native perennial flowering plants donated by a member of Lafayette Wetlands Partnership, Nicole Knudson.

Granby Willow Wood Park Shoreline Restoration (2017 – present)

Location: Public green space at the corner of Granby Street and the Willow Wood Drive bridge

Objective: Restore an eroded shoreline and install native plants to reduce erosion from rain water runoff

Summary:

During 2018, the Partnership collaborated with several departments within  the City of Norfolk to develop a plan to restore a large section of the park’s shoreline, using the living shoreline technique of bio-logs, sand back fill and replanting with native grasses.

A Joint Permit Application for the living shoreline design was submitted by the City to the permitting agencies and was approved.

In January 2019, the Norfolk Wetlands Board approved $15,000 for the Partnership’s use in procuring the needed supplies and plant materials.  The project will be performed over 2 years, with maintenance and monitoring for the following 3 years.

Status as of August 2020 – 

  • The Partnership conducted three shoreline clean-up events (May 2017, Jan 2018, and March 2018).
  • The City performed extensive survey work at the site (Jan 2018) to inform planning efforts.
  • The City did extensive tree trimming (Feb 2018) along approximately 200 feet of the shoreline, to remove low overhanging limbs that were shading out the existing marsh.
  • During the spring of 2019 (April – May 2019), three work events were held to install a “living shoreline” design along approximately 100 linear feet of shoreline.  This involved the installation of about 15 bio-logs which were then back-filled with 30 tons of sand.  This area was then planted with native wetlands grasses. 
  • An upland buffer zone area, just upshore from the new living shoreline, was installed to filter and slow down storm water runoff, as well as to add biodiversity and wildlife habitat:
    • In May 2019, it was planted with over 100 native perennial grasses and flowering plants.
    • In October 2019, an additional 50+ native shrubs and perennials were installed.  
    • Most of these plants were kindly donated by LWP member Nicole Knudson.

Next Steps:

Installation of coir logs (bio-logs), sand and native plants along an adjacent 50-75 foot stretch of shoreline was planned for the spring of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work was suspended from March 2020 to July 2020. Further work on the living shoreline will be done in 2021.

Additional plantings of native vegetation in the upland buffer zone area is planned for the fall of 2020.

The City of Norfolk’s parks department, with participation of Master Gardeners, initiated planning for a landscaped area in the central upland area, intended to slow down and filter storm water runoff. Installation of this landscaping is pending budget availability.