spring creek restoration
The successful effort to restore Spring Creek, a plan initiated by Spottswoode in 2000, is an inspiring example of how communities can work together to restore and sustain ecological balance. Spring Creek courses down from the mountains above St. Helena and flows through this wine country community before intersecting with Sulfur Creek and continuing on to the Napa River and San Francisco Bay. Concerned with the condition of the creek that borders the Spottswoode Estate, Beth Novak Milliken, president of Spottswoode, asked Evan Engber of Bioengineering Associates, well known for his pioneering work in river and stream restoration, to study Spring Creek and draft a plan. Thus Spottswoode began the long process of developing partnerships with various governmental agencies, as well as neighbors, whose support and involvement were crucial to the success of such an undertaking.
The progress is tangible—creek banks that were at risk are now shored up using environmentally-friendly techniques such as woven willow walls or rocks strategically placed under tree roots. Rock weirs, placed in the bottom of the creek, encourage sediment to collect and reestablish the bed. Non-native plants are replaced by native plantings. The project serves as an ideal model for other communities that are interested in protecting their natural resources.RELATED ARTICLE Paradise Lost? Striking a Balance