new land at Stone Mountain: restoring a stream and its floodplain

Howell Lake bed encompasses an approximately 9-acre floodplain and 1400-linear foot stream channel. The lake drained in September 2009 and a new ecosystem developed: wet meadow, riparian, and forest plant communities colonized the lake bed and the pre-existing drainage systems began to re-form.  The stream carved a partially-defined channel ending in a pond near the dam before continuing to a downstream series of scenic and recreational lakes.

Smart Landscapes assessed the stream channel and its associated plant communities and delineated emergent wetlands. Field visits in both rain and shine ensured a fuller understanding of the hydrology. Smart Landscapes developed conceptual plans for restoring the riparian plant communities and the stream channel and recommended mitigation approaches for high-energy stormwater flows.

By focusing on the most critical areas, incorporating on-site materials, and recommending volunteer engagement, Smart Landscapes minimized estimated construction costs and provided a way for an interested public to participate in the re-emergence of this floodplain ecosystem. To further engage park visitors in understanding wetlands and successional landscapes, we proposed interpretive signage and boardwalk access into the wetland from existing trails and adjacent scout camp.

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