Strayhorn Branch Project
A stream restoration project to restore water quality in downtown Durham
Located just outside of downtown Durham, Strayhorn Branch is a stream in the Pearl Mill Nature Preserve. The preserve is part of a corridor of wetlands and floodplain woods that surround the East Branch of the South Ellerbe Creek.
Why do we need this project? The Strayhorn Branch project will help reinforce the banks, restore a natural riffle-and-pool structure, and reintroduce Strayhorn Branch to its former flood plain in the adjacent woods.
What is Strayhorn Branch? Strayhorn Branch is a tributary which flows into the South Ellerbe Creek. The Strayhorn tributary is located within the Pearl Mill Nature Preserve.
What is the project? In 2018, ECWA purchased the nearby Soles Property with support from the City of Raleigh Watershed Protection Program and a Durham Open Space and Trails Matching Grant. The Strayhorn Branch, which flows into South Ellerbe just north of Green Street, has also eroded down more than three feet! This project is designed to heal Strayhorn Branch.
Project Partners and Funders–
City of Durham Stormwater & GIS Services
City of Raleigh Watershed Protection
Duke Energy Corp
Duke Energy Foundation
Durham Open Space and Trails Matching Grant
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Management Plan
North Carolina Environmental Enhancement Grant
Upper Neuse Clean Water initiative
Place Project Map Here
Plan Your Visit
Preserve trail maps viewable here
Opening Hours: Dawn to dusk year-round.
Directions & Parking: The South Ellerbe Creek Trail runs right through the preserve. This paved greenway runs right through the preserve, which means that the preserve is best accessed on foot or bike via the trail. If you choose to drive, park near where the trail crosses Green Street, on the 700 block. You will see the Pearl Mill Preserve kiosk on the north side of Green Street. Walking south from the kiosk, notice the pollinator garden on the right side of the path. Continue south a quarter mile to the future location of the South Ellerbe Stormwater Project and another mile to Durham’s city center.
ECWA exists because people believe that it's important to cherish the treasures in our own back yard.