Willow Creek Watershed featured in program

Willow Creek Watershed featured in program


Ever wonder why Pierce Lake at Rock Cut State Park silts up so much? The Sierra Club Blackhawk Chapter presented a program with a video called “Health of Our Urban Streams” on Nov. 25, at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The special guest was Donna Conley, a lifelong resident of Winnebago County, who owns land that runs alongside Willow Creek. She sponsored a video documenting the problems with runoff and flooding of Willow Creek, called “The Willow Creek Watershed.” Conley obtained letters of support from people in the area to get the watershed recognized. Once it was established, they went to the state and asked for a grant to study the Willow Creek area, which feeds into Rock Cut.

“We got a grant to study that area because the erosion is so bad,” said Conley. “I’d like to establish it the way it was before. We got Mr. Johannsen to make a film… and we have some aerial shots of the river.”

The film showed the effects that development has had along the stream, which is the source for Pierce Lake in Rock Cut State Park. The video was produced by world-famous videographer Charles Johannsen, who was at the viewing and signed autographs.

A discussion on problems with runoff and sedimentation in local streams followed the video.

The Upper Rock River Ecosystem Partnership is the newest member of the Illinois Department of Resources’ “Conservation 2000 Ecosystem Program.” The partnership, formed in January 2000, includes areas of both Boone and Winnebago counties.

Ecosystem Partnerships are coalitions of local stakeholders—private landowners, business people, natural resource scientists, recreation enthusiasts, local policy makers, etc.—united by a common interest in the natural resources of their area’s watershed.

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