Restoration continues on polluted Traverse City stream

May 24, 2016

A rehabilitated stretch of Kids Creek near Munson Medical Center.
Credit David Cassleman

An environmental group has more money to clean up a polluted Traverse City waterway.

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay has picked up a state grant worth nearly $600,000 to pay for ongoing work on Kids Creek, a tributary of the Boardman River that meanders along U.S. 31 in Traverse City. The group has been restoring stretches of Kids Creek for longer than a decade.

“Right now Kids Creek is on the state impaired waters list due to sedimentation, so there’s too much dirt in the stream, and stormwater runoff,” says Sarah U’Ren. She is the program director at The Watershed Center.

U’Ren says runoff is a problem on Kids Creek because it flows alongside many parking lots and roads.

“Whenever it rains or snows and it melts, all that water runs off these surfaces like roads and rooftops and parking lots,” U’Ren says, “and it gets into the creek and it carries all sorts of different kinds of pollutants.”

The Watershed Center has already created rain gardens and installed permeable pavements near Kids Creek to absorb stormwater.

U’Ren says the group has been working with Munson Medical Center to reduce runoff near the hospital for several years.