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Plaster Creek Stewards

A collaboration of Calvin College faculty, staff, and students working with local partners to restore Plaster Creek watershed.

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Education and outreach

Raising community awareness about the watershed through workshops, seminars, presentations, and volunteer workdays.

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Monitoring stream health through a research methods class, part of the Biology curriculum.

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Implementing on-the-ground habitat restoration throughout the watershed

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Plaster Creek Stewards

Working to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed

Dutton Shadyside Park Streambank Restoration Project

Permit Hearing
July 12, 2016
Permit Hearing 6:00pm, Informational meeting 5:30pm
Location: Gaines Charter Township Board Room
8555 Kalamazoo Avenue, Caledonia MI 49316

This summer Plaster Creek Stewards (Calvin College), MDEQ and Kent County Parks are conducting a major restoration project to improve the stream environment here at Dutton Shadyside Park. The work will stabilize Plaster Creek's banks and create a safe and sustainable floodplain around the creek with native wetland plants.

Floodplains are low lying areas that absorb stormwater, slowing it down and preventing erosion while creating habitat for aquatic creatures. Native plants play an important role by stabilizing banks and absorbing excess nutrients, while providing food and shelter for pollinators.

Plaster Creek water levels rise and fall rapidly in Shadyside Park following thaws or heavy rainfalls. This "flashy" flow erodes the banks and sends loads of sediment downstream in the water. This creates unhealthy conditions in the park and downstream.

The area around Plaster Creek in the park will be significantly disrupted while construction is taking place, with exposed soils and heavy machinery. As soon as the work is done, we will seed and plant the affected areas to start the process of re-vegetating with native grasses, wildflowers and trees. It may take a few growing seasons to recover, but the end result will be a beautiful floodplain benefiting wildlife and improving the scenic quality as well as the safety of the park.

This project has been funded wholly or in part through Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Non-point Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Partners for this project include: Plaster Creek Stewards (Calvin College), EPA, MDEQ and Kent County Parks.

New Rain Garden Maintenance Guide.

This guide is used to help homeowners maintain their new curb-cut raingardens through our current grants, but there is useful information in here for any native gardener. Also, feel free to join our Facebook Group: Rain Garden Maintenance to post questions and learn about caring for your native landscaped rain garden.



Read our Newsletter!Fall 2011 Newsletter


Love thy Downstream Neighbor: From Plaster Creek to the St. Lawrence River

Our fall event was Saturday, September 22 10:00am-12:30pm at the Bunker Interpretive Center.

View photos from the project or check out images from the presentation here, and view news coverage here.



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