Sunday, November 1, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC Foyer, Second Floor
Scull Creek flows through the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, offering a unique freshwater ecosystem in a rapidly growing urban center. Unfortunately, the riparian zone of Scull Creek has been subjected to many anthropogenic activities that have degraded the zone’s aesthetic appeal as well as its functional ability to filter runoff and provide habitat. Scull Creek has recently been the focal point of many construction projects including the Scull Creek Bike Trail, a paved bicycle/walking path that runs alongside much of the creek’s course through Fayetteville. The construction of this trail, along with the construction of nearby apartment buildings, roads, and new houses, has damaged parts of Scull Creek’s riparian zone, leaving certain areas with bare soil or damaged plants more prone to the negative effects of invasive species. The Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Club at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with Fayetteville Parks and Recreation, the UA American Society of Landscape Architects, and Fayetteville In Bloom, has chosen a small section of Scull Creek’s riparian zone to restore using native plants. The area will first be cleared of any invasive species, such as Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and then native grasses, sedges, and small woody plants will be planted throughout the site. The project’s goals include: streambank stabilization, an increase in the area’s biodiversity, the introduction of a wider variety of native plants to the area, the educational opportunity and overall enjoyment for Fayetteville residents, and to provide an example for other organizations to restore areas at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.