Projects In Progress
Midfield Wetlands Walk (2016 – present)
Location: From the east end of Conway Street north along community path to south end of Midfield Road. This lovely 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 and replanting with native grasses and shrubs to improve the health of the wetlands, increase plant diversity, enhance the wildlife habitat and beautify the area at the same time.
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.
This project began in early 2016 with a 3 to 5 year timeline. Total planned budget for wetlands restoration was $4,800.
- 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.
- Approximately 550 volunteer hours have been contributed during 14 work events.
Enhancements since initial completion:
- Phragmites control measures are conducted on an annual basis at this site (summer clipping, fall herbicide application by City staff),
- 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 Lady Fern’s Native Plants.
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.
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 planned to be performed over 2 years, with maintenance and monitoring for the following 3 years.
Status as of October 2021 –
- 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 very low overhanging limbs that were shading out the existing marsh.
- During the spring of 2019, a “living shoreline” along approximately 100 linear feet of shoreline was installed. This involved three work events to accomplish the installation of about 15 bio-logs (coir logs) which were then back-filled with 30 tons of sand and then planted with native wetlands grasses.
- An upland buffer zone area was also installed to filter and slow down storm water runoff, as well as to add biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Two plantings were done (May and October, 2019) during which over 100 native perennial grasses and flowering plants and about 50 native shrubs were installed. Most of these plants were donated by LWP member Nicole Knudson and owner of Lady Fern’s Native Plants.
- During 2020, the COVID-19 situation prevented further progress on expanding the living shoreline, but additional upland “buffer zone” plantings and site maintenance work parties were held in March and November.
- In 2021, a spring and fall site maintenance events were held (weeding, vine removal, mulching). A springtime planting event to augment the wetlands grass plantings and to add new wetlands species was also done, as a “service learning” activity for the wetlands ecology students of Dr. Erik Yando, Professor with ODU’s Dept of Biological Sciences.