Two Community Parks, Linked by a Mutual Stream: Rife Run, A Restoration Story
Rife Run, a tributary of Chiques Creek, runs through Lancaster County. Flooding along this stream, which flows through the hearts of Logan and Mummau parks in Manheim Borough, made it difficult to keep the parks maintained and open for use. It also caused a significant amount of soil and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus to be washed downstream to the Chesapeake Bay.
In two separate projects completed nearly 10 years apart, LandStudies designed and constructed floodplain restoration projects at the two parks to help reduce non-point source pollution and improve water quality in the Chiques Creek Watershed.
The Mummau Park restoration came first: in 2005. LandStudies’ goal was to reconnect the stream channel with its floodplain, thereby reducing stream erosion and improving ecological function within the park. Legacy sediment (soil that has accumulated for decades due to human disturbances, causing the stream banks to become elevated) was excavated to lower the floodplain closer to historical elevations and the stream channel was relocated closer to its historical location in the low-point of the valley. The restoration created gentle meanders with pools and riffles, reducing the chances of erosion within the stream channel. The new stream corridor provides improved riparian habitat and aesthetic values to the park and its visitors.
The Logan Park project included the removal of 10,000 cubic yards of legacy sediment, 1,500 linear feet of relocated and restored Rife Run stream channel, 2.5 acres of wetland creation, and seeding, stabilization, and planting of native trees and shrubs. Construction started in July of 2015 and was completed in October of 2015. The project reduced stream bank erosion, increased wildlife habitat and diversity, reduced sediment and nutrient pollution, and improved overall water quality. It also supported the redesign of several soccer fields to reduce the flooding that had negatively impacted the recreation fields at the park and in the surrounding community.
The Logan Park Rife Run Floodplain Restoration Project was awarded a 2016 Excellence in Construction award by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Keystone chapter, as well as their 2016 Project of the year award. To learn more about the awards, visit here.
Total Project Impact
Because of the floodplain restoration and legacy sediment removal projects at Mummau Park and Logan Park, Rife Run know flows more naturally and cleanly. It is more of an asset to Manheim Borough and its residents than an impediment. And it contributes to the continued improvement in the health of the Chiques Creek Watershed a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Continued monitoring and maintenance of the restored floodplains will ensure the continued success of these projects.