The following organizations have been awarded Five Star Restoration grants this year to implement wetland, riparian, and coastal conservation initiatives:
Tapawingo Springs Wetlands Restoration
Recipient: Freshwater Land Trust
Five Star Funds: $14,980
Project Area: Jefferson County, AL
To remove approximately 1.5 acres of invasive Chinese Privet from Tapawingo Springs, a former thriving wetland and bottomland ecosystem, and re-plant the area with approximately 1,500 native bottomland species and flowering plants. The goal is to create a haven not only for the Watercress Darter but also for songbirds and other wildlife. Partners include the Whole Foods Team Leadership Program, Society to Advance Resources at Turkey Creek (START)/Pinson Boy Scouts of America, Freshwater Land Trust Land Steward, Southern Environmental Center, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, as well as Samford University and Birmingham Southern College Biology Departments.
Village Creek Trail and Restoration
Recipient: Freshwater Land Trust
Five Star Funds: $20,620
Project Area: Birmingham, AL
To will construct and maintain a trail system along 2.4 acres of the Village Creek headwaters that will include invasive plant removal, wetland enhancement, and bioswale construction. Invasive plants such as privet will be removed, and a pervious walkway will be installed. Educational signage will be added, and the Southern Environmental Center, Jefferson County Health Department and The Freshwater Land Trust will offer public tours. This project will be implemented in partnership with the Freshwater Land Trust, Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH), the Southern Environmental Center (SEC), Birmingham-Southern College and the Champions for Village Creek Greenway.
Burwell Creek Restoration Project
Recipient: Keep Rome Floyd Beautiful - City of Rome, Georgia
Five Star Funds: $18,567
Project Area: Rome, GA
To restore 80 linear feet of eroding streambank, provide hands-on education promoting wildlife preservation and stream buffer protection, and establish a permanent water monitoring site. Partners on the project include The ECO River Education Center, The City of Rome, Georgia, Boys and Girl Scouts of America, University of Georgia's Floyd County Cooperative Extension, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Darlington School, Evans Construction Company, Georgia Power, Coosa River Basin Initiative, The Nature Conservancy, and the Citizens of Georgia Power Company Rome Chapter.
Delano Line Park Headwaters Restoration Project
Recipient: DeKalb County
Five Star Funds: $25,260
Project Area: Decatur, GA
To work with project partners to clear trash and debris from a headwater stream. Stream banks will be replanted to improve water quality and habitat. Environmental education will be offered to seven local schools. Project partners include DeKalb County, Museum School of Avondale Estates, White Oak Hills Neighborhood Association, Healthy Belvedere, and Avondale High School.
Trees Atlanta and BeltLine Clear Creek Restoration
Recipient: Trees Atlanta
Five Star Funds: $35,000
Project Area: Atlanta, GA
To restore and stabilize eroded 400 ft of Clear Creek along the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum by planting native riparian species. This will include the treatment and removal of invasive exotic plant species. Project partners include Atlanta Audubon Society, BeltLine Partnership (BLP), Atlanta Public Schools, Ansley Mall, Ansley Square, Park Pride, Georgia Power, Ansley Park Neighborhood, Morningside Neighborhood, Midtown Neighborhood Association, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and HGOR Landscape Architects.
Wetland Restoration in Piedmont Park
Recipient: Piedmont Park Conservancy
Five Star Funds: $40,000
Project Area: Atlanta, GA
To restore a 3.4-acre wetland, including unearthing 6 streams that comprise headwaters of Clear Creek. The project creates a rare wetland habitat in the center of the City of Atlanta. The project will also result in the addition of amenities including paths and boardwalks allowing for public visitation of the wetlands and the creation of a field study site including interpretive signage for passive learning as well as environmental education curriculum. to serve students and community groups. Project partners include: Aquascape Environmental, Arborguard Tree Specialists, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Atlanta Audubon Society, BEST Academy, Brasfield & Gorrie, City of Atlanta, Dept. of Parks and Recreation and Dept. of Watershed Management, Georgia Tech, Grady High School, Kimley-Horn and Associates, and the Silverman Construction Program Management.
Arrowhead Environmental Education Center Wetland Project
Recipient: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Five Star Funds: $39,998
Project Area: Floyd County, GA
To enhance a 7-acre wetland at the Arrowhead Wildlife Management Area in Floyd County that will be managed for waterfowl while providing long-term outdoor education. Volunteers from several local groups and organizations will benefit from personal interaction via designated community work days that will incorporate hands-on conservation and restoration activities. Project partners include J. Supply Company, Vellano Bros., Inc., Kerry Brown, Hugh Glidewell, Sunbelt Turf Farms, Neely Raper Lumber, Ducks Unlimited, Inc, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The Bayou by You
Recipient: Mississippi State University
Five Star Funds: $23,879
Project Area: Biloxi, MS
To enhance 7.5 acres of partially-filled and culverted wetlands of Bayou Auguste in the urban neighborhood of East Biloxi, Mississippi. Residents and public agencies have identified restoring urban bayous as important for flood protection and ecological health. The partnership will coordinate debris and invasive species removal, marsh grass propagation and planting, and stream bank reshaping to improve the Bayou's water quality and retention capacity, habitat function, biodiversity, and visual appeal. Mississippi State will work with the following organizations to implement this project: the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, Biloxi Housing Authority, Biloxi Public Schools, and the City of Biloxi.
Cumbest Bluff Restoration Project
Recipient: Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Five Star Funds: $20,000
Project Area: Jackson County, MS
To implement the Cumbest Bluff Restoration Project, a 200 acre tract of hardwoods, bogs, and cypress swamp located just east of the lower Pascagoula River in Jackson County, Mississippi. This gifted property will allow the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation through its partnership alliances to restore and monitor the area's unique ecological balance and allow the educational community complete access for study. Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Power Company, Deviney Construction, and D&C Limited Investments, LLC will work with the Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation to carry out this project.