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Highlands transformation, stream restoration underway to improve water quality

The Highlands Restoration
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 17:00:12-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Work, which aims to improve water quality in the Grand River watershed, started Monday to restore an underground stream at The Highlands.

The Highlands Restoration

The Highlands is a natural area protected by Blandford Nature Center and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

Both organizations say they’re working with the city of Grand Rapids and several other partners to bring the buried stream back to the surface, as part of the ongoing restoration of The Highlands.

By “daylighting” the stream, these organizations hope to improve the water quality of Indian Mill Creek and the greater Grand River watershed.

The Highlands Restoration

Blandford Nature Center says the water captured by the Reeds-Barlow Drain has been rushing down a pipe buried beneath The Highlands for years. From there, it goes into Indian Mill Creek, a tributary to the Grand River.

They say raising the waterflow to the surface by “daylighting” the stream will slow down the rush of water, which will improve water quality of both Indian Mill Creek and the Grand River.

“In addition to the valuable water quality and habitat benefits, we are excited about the abundant educational opportunities the daylighted stream promises to provide for the local community,” said Jack Woller, Blandford Nature Center president and CEO.

“Plants, animals and humans alike will benefit from the healthier habitat and beautiful scenery the daylighted stream will provide,” added Kim Karn, executive director of Land Conservancy West Michigan.

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