Project Spotlight – TPC Potomac Golf Course Floodplain Restoration

A recent article by WUSA 9 discusses why recent rains at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms golf course in Potomac, MD didn’t stop the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship on May 5-8. It was thanks to the floodplain restoration work that LandStudies did on the course back in 2008.

Rock Run, a tributary to the Potomac River that flows through the course, used to overflow its banks after heavy rainstorms, flooding critical areas of play that caused delays or cancelation of play. The flooding also caused deposition of sediment, woody debris, and other materials across the fairways and other areas of play. During the restoration of the golf course and club house, TPC Potomac and the PGA hired LandStudies to find a solution that would reduce the frequency and magnitude of flooding. This was done by removing the legacy sediment within the valley bottom and raising the elevation of the areas of play above flood levels. The techniques used by LandStudies resulted in the restoration of 7,800 linear feet of stream, the construction of 16 acres of wetlands, and the planting of 1,200 trees and 60,000 plants and shrubs. The high eroding banks were removed and replaced with shallow banks and wetlands, which improved the ecology and aesthetics of the streambanks and transformed the site into a healthier and more visually pleasing place to play a round of 18.

“Now we have a stable and very functional floodplain, and the eroding streambanks are not contributing to sediment pollution within the watershed,” said Kelly Gutshall, President of LandStudies.

LandStudies has made a name for itself in floodplain restoration work like this and what it calls Economic Ecology® – a way to solve water issues while maximizing economic and environmental returns. You can learn more about the TPC Potomac project and see before and after images here.

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