The Pike River Corridor Restoration was designed by the Village of Mount Pleasant (Racine County, WI) as a watershed level project to provide flood storage as well as opportunities for water quality, ecological and recreational improvements. The river restoration began construction in 2001 starting upstream on Spring Street/Hwy C (Phase 1). Construction continued with subsequent phases (Phases 2-9) downstream ending at County Line Road/Hwy KR in 2015. The newly meandering stream consists of approximately 5.2 river miles.
Thompson & Associates Wetland Services (TAWS) has been a partner consultant in the river restoration from the start of the project. Thompson designed and oversaw installation of native wetland, stream shelf, and prairie vegetation. Vegetation maintenance has been a continuous effort by TAWS seasonal and full time staff with various methods of control including prescribed fire, herbicide application, hand pulling, and mowing. Vegetation monitoring is performed regularly to assess the establishment of plant community types throughout the corridor.
The Pike River Corridor has a number of visitors daily. The pathway is used by walkers, runners, leashed dogs, and bicyclists. But if you ever get the chance to stop and enjoy the view, you may notice other types of visitors. The Green Heron (below left) frequents the stream pathway by way of log perches to boulders placed along the stream. And a variety of pollinators visit native wildflowers including the federally endangered rusty patched bumble bee (left).
Feel free to contact Thompson & Associates with any questions about what species of wildlife or plant you observe along the Pike River Corridor!
Yearly monitoring of the river and the floodplain and prairie is critical to determining what are successes, where we can repair or improve areas, and what resilience looks like on an urban/rural interface. There are many partners including agencies, non-profits, consultants and the Village to manage the project. Dr. Tim Ehlinger at the right at the Institute for Systems Change and Peacebulding (UW Milwaukee) has been a long term researcher and proponent of the project.