Erosion Control March/April 2017 : Page 19

Piney Creek in Centennial, CO “On many sites, waterfowl key in on newly installed wetland plants and can pull them out of the ground.” Seeds and Sod Ready To Go Tim Watters, one of two owners of North Fork Native Plants in Rexburg, ID, describes the wetland sod mats that were used to help stabilize the stream-bank on the Piney Creek project. “We produce a unique product used specifically for restoration and reclama-tion projects,” he explains. “Our pre-vegetated coir mats are used extensively throughout the Intermountain West.” For Piney Creek, North Fork sup-plied CDI with nearly 29,000 square feet of 16-by 3-foot wetland sod mats, which Watters says are grown hydro-ponically with native sedges, rushes, and bulrushes. “We have nearly 8 acres of production ponds with a capacity of over 4,000 of these mats” Each mat is plugged with more than 100 small wetland plants; it takes time to allow the plants to integrate into the coir mat and expand to reach a mini-mum specification of 50% root mass coverage and 50% top growth coverage. At Piney Creek, the mats were MARCH/APRIL 2017 installed at the toe of the newly con-structed channel. They provided tem-porary erosion control until the wet-land plants in the mats rooted in and became established. Two rows of mats were installed with a “drier” species of plants used on the up-slope zone. Because the plants have reached a stage of relative maturity by the time they are delivered, the coir mats provide an immediate aesthetic value and accelerate establishment onsite. Moreover, they can offer protection from sudden weather events and avert potential damage from erosion. And while wildlife can threaten young plants, these mats can withstand the enthusiasm of waterfowl finding a new supply of food. “On many sites, waterfowl key in on newly installed wetland plants and can pull them out of the ground as they feed on top growth. Since the roots in our mats are integrated into the coir matting, top growth can be grazed but the roots stay intact, allowing for regrowth,” says Watters. Tren Hagman, from Denver-based Granite Seed, is a specialist in seed and erosion control. He describes Granite’s role in the Piney Creek effort, “When CDI called and they had won the proj-ect, we talked about what they needed for that specific site. We grow a lot of it here on our farms in Washington and Montana—grasses and forbs—but we also go out and collect what we need if it’s a particular species request, typi-cally forbs and shrubs.” Hagman says this project used a riparian mix of nuttal sunflowers, yarrow, and blue verbena, “which is a lower-growing plant that spreads.” He says, “We mixed soil inoculant with the seed as well. For Piney Creek we mixed 15 pounds of seed with 20 pounds of inoculant, and this takes care of close to 3 acres.” “Altogether, the revegetation efforts are a terrific success because of design, the amendments, and the quality of sod and seeds we used,” affirms Bartok. Growing as Nature Intended After struggling with the cost and pitfalls of chemical fertilizers, Sue Wisbey of Alpha Nursery and Garden Center in Cascade, ID, is enthusiasti-cally beating the drum over the benefits SPILLDAM ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. SILTDAM ™ Turbidity Control Curtains: designed, engineered and manufac-tured to meet the demanding site requirements of our customers. Marine Construction Demolition Dredging Remediation Erosion Control Shoreline Revetment Options include: s IN
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