Hardwood Creek Restoration

Lino Lakes & Hugo, Minnesota

Hardwood Creek is a major stream system within the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) that includes a significant portion of rural and agricultural areas in Washington and Anoka Counties. The upper portion of the Hardwood Creek drainage way is a broad, low-lying swale containing wetland communities of significant natural resource values. Downstream, the soils get sandier and the topography slightly increases. The lower section of the creek has been adversely impacted by development in the upper reaches as well as by property owners in the early part of the last century who straightened or added ditches to increase arable land. Numerous reaches of Hardwood Creek were identified to be in need of stabilization, re-meander, restoration, and/or management.  

In order to improve the biological integrity of Lower Hardwood Creek, the SRF team implemented two major restorations to reduce sediment loading and improve dissolved oxygen. They included a stream re-meander project along 1,800 feet of a previously ditched reach of the Creek and a floodplain reconnection project along another 500-foot reach.   These restorations also included bioengineered solutions to stabilization such as root wads and live stakes along with strategically placed scour holes.

CLIENT: Rice Creek Watershed District