Mill Race Village (Rouge River Watershed) - Site #27

Northville, Michigan


Project Goals and Objectives: To reduce localized erosion and restore the streambank buffer habitat and improve water quality in the Rouge River at the Mill Race Village in Northville, Michigan

Project Description: Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) assisted the Northville Historical Society (NHS) in developing a master plan to restore Rouge River streambanks in Mill Race Village. Phase one of the plan involved stabilizing the mill race section of stream on the east side of the property and planting the bank with native vegetation. Much of the streambanks were void of vegetation and the vegetation that did exist was largely invasive trees and shrubs. Work was underway to control invasive trees from the riverbank.

The village was built on 12.5 acres of land donated to the City of Northville by the Ford Motor Company and was once the site of a grist mill. The village is surrounded by the Middle Rouge on 3 sides of the property. A dam creates an impoundment and a small spillway that flows to the original mill site across Griswold Ave.

Friends of the Rouge and the Northville Historical Society teamed up to install a streambank stabilization project to reduce erosion and improve the vegetated buffer to create habitat and improve water quality in the Middle Branch of the Rouge River.

Eleven coir logs were installed at the base of the slope to stabilize approximately 110 lineal feet of streambank. Invasive plants were removed from a 300 foot reach of shoreline, erosion control blanket was secured and native vegetation was planted to cover approximately 500 square feet of bank. Several invasive shrubs providing bank stability were left in place to maintain the integrity of the bank. These invasives will be removed once the native vegetation becomes established. In the interim the shrubs will be cut to prevent their spread. Long term plans include extending the buffer and stabilizing additional sections of stream in the Village. Two volunteer workdays were coordinated to complete the work.

Cost: $1,600 for supplies and materials

Timeframe: 2012

Partners: Friends of the Rouge, Northville Historical Society, City of Northville

Ecological Effectiveness: Restoration just completed, no post-project monitoring to date

Restoration Contact: Friends of the Rouge