In 2003, a developer proposed a residential development on a 100- acre parcel of land in the City of Rochester Hills that was previously used as a golf course. The City’s, MDNRE’s, and developer’s objective for the Country Club Village Residential Development (Project) was to develop a model open space residential development that would include one mile of stream relocation and restoration, stormwater detention basins, floodplain compensation, secondary treatment basins (wetlands), and 8 acres of prairie. A paved walking path winds throughout the open space, providing residents full access to the benefits of the constructed rain gardens, prairies, and wetlands.

In 2005, Niswander Environmental, whose staff had previously been involved in the design and approval of the Project, were asked to review the approved plans, evaluate the on-site conditions, document what activities had been completed, identify deviations from the approved plans, provide remediation suggestions, and develop a schedule and cost estimate for work yet to be completed.

Niswander Environmental oversaw the remediation activities, which included installation of in-stream structures, modifications and corrective actions for the wetland areas, and planting and seeding of the site, all completed in the fall of 2005.

A series of in-stream structures were installed in the existing and relocated streams. These structures are designed to improve stream stability, reduce stream bank erosion, and create aquatic habitat for wildlife. Native plant species established along the previously degraded stream bank enhance the quality and natural beauty of the stream.

Rain gardens were constructed to catch stormwater runoff from the clubhouse parking lot and adjacent tennis courts. The rain gardens serve as shallow, temporary catch basins where stormwater is quickly absorbed and filtered into the ground. The rain gardens are unique since they are created as landscaped features designed to fit within a formal garden setting utilizing native plants. Unlike typical open water detention basins, the rain gardens are designed to collect and quickly filter water, not store it, which prevents the potential for mosquito breeding.

Several treatment wetlands were redesigned to compensate for errors in construction, and seeded to establish native species within the basins. In addition, all upland areas in the open space were over-seeded with prairie species. Niswander Environmental managed the development of the site for three years and has generated a long term maintenance plan for use by the Homeowner’s Association.

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