Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Restoring wetlands with native plants

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Rochester: Restoring wetlands with native plants
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This is the new and improved Geddes Brook, complete with constructed wetlands that include over 50,000 native plants.

"We’ve had over 40 different fish and wildlife species that we’ve documented already in the wetland, including reproduction of amphibians and reptiles within the wetland. And the plant community has blossomed into a very diverse native aquatic and wetland species community," said Mark Arrigo, principal scientist at Parsons Engineering in Syracuse, N.Y.

This meandering brook with low-lying areas carved out to catch run off during heavy storms is a far cry from the channel that had been created in an earlier era. Arrigo said Geddes Brook was once an upstream source of contaminants to Onondaga Lake.

Arrigo said, "It was one of the first sites to be remediated and restored. During that process, and particularly the wetland restoration, we consulted with and utilized ESF for various aspects of the design, such as plant selection, overall wetland design to enhance and create the most diverse habitat that we possibly could."

ESF landscape architecture student Natalia Cagide said the goal is to improve the biodiversity of the area using native plants and species.

"There’s been a very strong push toward invasive plant mitigation and to really push forward with native species. There’s been a lot of consultancy to make sure that the species that are growing there are actually native plants and that they are contributing to the overall health of the wetlands and vegetation community," Cagide said.

That restoration is now complete and now we’re monitoring the results to show that the wetland restoration has been successful.

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