Essay Example on Riverside Restoration Engineer in Training Date January









Riverside Restoration Engineer in Training Date January 19 2018 Subject Horner Park Riverfront Redevelopment Proposal Foreword At the beginning of 2013 a complete ecological restoration project at Horner Park alongside the North Branch of the Chicago River in Chicago IL was to be underway this was recently brought to my attention after the project has successfully been finished The river restoration completed solved the issues of the area by 1 Regrading the riverbank 2 Renovating the regraded area to improve the overall ecosystem As someone who has lived in this neighborhood for my entire life this renovation directly affects my daily life and allows me to enjoy the natural surroundings as well as available activities on the river The purpose of this report is to outline the complete renovation of this area as well as address the different successful tasks done for the project Summary In the past decade many issues in this area have come to light including but not limited to severe erosion the spread of invasive species and a limitation to the recreational use of the area With 6 million in funding provided by the Army Corps and the Chicago Park District several steps were taken to increase the overall healthiness and use of this area 

The outcome of the main tasks accomplished are as follows 1 By regrading the riverbank the area that underwent the restoration became more connected to the river which had several positive effects on the ecosystem of the river Not only did this create the opportunity to introduce new plant and animal species but it also allowed recreational activities to be built and accessed 2 After the entire area was regraded and the foundation was improved the project team completely remodeled the area in order to boost the healthiness and popularity of this part along the Chicago River The complete removal of invasive and non native plants alongside the river not only vastly increased the wildlife migration corridor quality and provided a safe shelter for migratory birds this also significantly increased the diversity of native plants and insects After a plethora of new native plants were added to the ecosystem the area became much more lively and healthy for native seeds to blossom This also helped provide a beautiful natural area for the citizens of Chicago to enjoy 1 Regrading of the Chicago River shoreline The first step of the restoration project was completely excavating and grading 2 600 feet of shoreline The affected part of the riverside consisted of an unnatural steepness in some places completely vertical which continually caused trees and other plants to slide or fall down these cliffs Consequently the uprooting of the fallen plants caused a harmful amount of erosion in the area and therefore prevented wildlife and recreational use as well as aided in the spread of invasive species The regrading of this surface which created a gentler slope aided in the termination of the erosion Additionally the improvement of the hydrology of this area significantly increased the volume of wildlife in the habitat as well as stabilized the foundation of the plants that were eventually put in 2 Boosting Ecosystem of the Chicago River shoreline

Throughout the course of the project several measures were taken to ensure that the ecosystem of the area thrived after the project was finished for years to come This was done by removing the invasive species that were taking over the growth of native plants and destroying the surrounding wildlife s shelters After the invasive species were removed numerous amounts of healthy plants and insects were introduced into the ecosystem to help it regain its vibrant livelihood Additional landscape was also added to the land above the riverside to provide park users access to the river 2 1 Removal of Invasive Species Along the side of the river there were a countless number of harmful species that completely spread over the entire area which caused damage to the roots of native species as well as ruined the homes of wildlife found in that region By removing the harmful plants and replacing them with native species as discussed in section 2 2 there was a growth in wildlife populations along with an increase of overall diversity of plants and insects 2 2 Addition of a Healthy Ecosystem After the riverbank was regraded and the invasive species were controlled the ultimate goal of this project was to restore the natural features of this area The 2 600 feet along the side of the river as well as the surrounding land that had been regraded was split up into different zones depending on the ecological characteristics of that area Incorporated in each zone were different species of both plants and animals that would thrive in the specific conditions of the corresponding zone By adding this vegetation which can be referenced in Table 1 the popularity of the area for pedestrians increased Additionally because the species were safer for the ecosystem this allowed the project team to provide recreational paths alongside the river including a 5 314 foot woodchip trail Table 1 Native Plantings along Chicago River near Horner Park Wetland Shelf Zone River Bank Zones 1 2 Oak Savanna Zone 3 14 species 3 402 plugs 10 shrubs species 1 vine 282 individuals 9 tree species 128 individuals 27 herbaceous species 3 680 plugs 356 5 lbs of seed 1 tree species 10 individuals 45 herbaceous species 58 360 plugs 305 2 lbs of seed

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