When you envision a stream, you can hear the crackling of water running over rocks, you can see the native vegetation along the banks of the clear water providing a home to wildlife, and you can feel the cool water on your toes. Unfortunately, this vision has not been the reality for the Strayhorn Branch of the Ellerbe Creek.
However, the Strayhorn Branch Stream Enhancement is a project that gets us a step closer to improving the water quality of the Ellerbe Creek by providing stormwater infrastructure. In 2023, one of ECWA's major New Year's resolutions is to complete the Strayhorn Stream Enhancement. It's been a long time coming.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
By 2022, we had enough funding from three different grants to actually start construction and complete the project. We realized our outreach now needed to be more direct and targeted to the project’s immediate neighbors. We sent a mailer to approximately 900 households with information on the Strayhorn Branch Stream Enhancement, and canvassed all houses within a quarter mile of the project site. The main goal of this outreach was focused on informing neighbors that would be directly impacted that the project construction will occur in 2023.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE STREAM ENHANCEMENT?
We expect to begin construction for Strayhorn Branch Stream Enhancement in the spring of this year! Construction will consist of placing in-stream structures with natural materials, re-sloping and re-vegetating the stream banks, so that the stream will more closely reflect a natural floodplain. This will reduce erosion by slowing down stormwater runoff and will also provide habitat for creatures in the creek.
The idea for the Strayhorn Branch Stream Enhancement has been in the making for over a decade and there's still more to come. Make sure to stay on the lookout for updates regarding this project!
ECWA's vision is a living creek connecting human and natural communities in Durham. Through land acquisition, collaboration with the city, and public education, we hope to create a Durham where residents can bike or walk across the watershed and stop at local businesses and nature preserves along the way.