Rome awarded grant for Burwell Creek project

Published in Rome News Tribune July 2010

Rome awarded grant for Burwell Creek project

by Doug Walker, Associate Editor

26 days ago | 816 views | 0  | 12  |  | 

Keep Rome Floyd Beautiful Director Mary Hardin Thornton shows technical documents involving the Burwell Creek restoration project to County Commissioners (from left) Eddie Lumsden and Irwin Bagwell and Keith Gilmer of the Soil and Water Conservation service. (Doug Walker, RN-T)


Local organizations have received two sizable grants to help environmental programs here.

Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful has been awarded an $18,000 Five Star Restoration grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Additionally, Ducks Unlimited, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and several community partners have been awarded a $39,998 Five Star Grant for a marsh restoration project at the Lake Arrowhead DNR complex off Floyd Springs Road north of Rome.

The Five Star Restoration Program is designed to assist grassroots efforts bringing together student organizations, conservation agencies, corporations, landowners and government agencies to provide environmental education and training through projects that restore wetlands and streams.

Both awards are funded by stewardship grants from the Southern Company, parent firm of Georgia Power.

Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful Director Mary Hardin Thornton said her project will restore a sustainable urban creek environment along Burwell Creek from its confluence with the Oostanaula River at Ridge Ferry Park back to the Major Ridge Bridge on Riverside Parkway, an area of approximately 2.6 acres.

The group will work with numerous community partners to including Georgia Power, Evans Construction, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Darlington School, Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation Service, Coosa River Basin Initiative, Nature Conservancy, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, Girl Scout Troop 756, Boy Scout Troop 1902, the city of Rome, Floyd County and the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority.

“Our results should be visible a year from now,” Thornton said.

Rome-Floyd Environmental Planner Eric Lindberg said the project would give the community environmental showcases at two of the entry points to Ridge Ferry Park.

“Burwell Creek is an ideal spot for us to go to for Adopt-a-Stream training,” Lindberg said. “It’s the perfect spot to bring folks for the outdoor portion of the workshops.”

Evans Construction crews will bring specialized heavy equipment to the site to assist with debris removal and the shoring up of a collapsed pedestrian bridge wing wall.

“The city contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in helping,” Kevin Evans said. “It’s a good community relations project for us.”

David Gregory, a wildlife biologist with DNR said the marsh project would encompass a 7-acre area, largely on a lake bed that has been dry for several years. A portion of the lake will be watered year-round for a duck habitat. A second section will be developed for a wet marsh habitat, while a third section will be planted with crops that can be flooded for waterfowl.

Gregory said a peninsula will be constructed and include a blind that could be used for general wildlife viewing and a waterfowl hunting platform for handicapped children.

Community partners in that project include J Supply, Vellano Bros. Inc., Kerry Brown, Sunbelt Turf Farm and Neely Raper Lumber. The partners will come up with matching funds of $41,840 to complete the project.

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