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Demonstration of Greenway Development to Protect Ecological Services in Small Urban Streams

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17407)
Keywords:   Stream restoration, ecological services, riparian vegetation, stormwater management

The city of Rogers, Arkansas is part of the rapidly growing Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metropolitan area of Northwest Arkansas. The natural resources of the area, particularly water resouces have been stressed as the cities struggle to develop infrastructure needed for the rapid growth. Increased wastewater effluent, nonpoint source pollution and loss of riparian vegetation have degraded the water resources. In 2002, the US EPA and the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission awarded a grant to the city to demonstrate protection of ecological services through the use of greenways in their stormwater system. The demonstration stream is a second order urban stream draining roughly 16 km2. The watershed is rapidly developing as commercial, industrial, multi and single-family residential property. In the initial phase of the demonstration, an evaluation of the stream was made including evaluation of; habitat, biodiversity, trees, land use and land use change, and hydrologic/geomorphologic conditions in the stream to analyze the ecological services being provided by the stream. The project is unique in its combination of environmental sciences and engineering in the initial planning stages. A local stakeholders committee consisting of the landowners, local educators, and interested citizens has been created to direct the project. As a result of this project, a local Greenways and Trails Committee has been established to extend the greenway concept to the rest of the city. The city has changed its development approval process to require dedication of riparian areas for greenway trails development.

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