Valley Woods Nature Preserve (Rouge River Watershed) - Site #47

Southfield, Michigan


Project Goals and Objectives: Restore seven acres of wetlands and the capacity of wetlands to store and retain storm water from a park, and enhance wildlife habitat (Southfield, Michigan)

Project Description: This project improved green infrastructure for treatment of urban storm water, improved shoreline and wildlife habitat, and enhanced green space.

The 27-acre Valley Woods Nature Preserve is located along the Rouge River in Southfield, Michigan and is managed by the Southfield’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The river channel meanders through a relatively intact floodplain forest containing mature sycamore, oak, and red ash trees. A variety of other tree species, including maple and elm, complete the overstory composition of this significantly large, functioning floodplain forest. The plant communities within this preserve are diverse relative to many of the other park/preserve sites. A large emergent marsh is present in the northern end and a shrub‐carr (i.e., a moderate to long persistent successional shrub community dominated by willows, dogwoods, winterberry, and bog birch that occurs along the banks of rivers, streams and lakes) wetland is present at the southern end of the preserve. This preserve provides a variety of natural functions, including floodwater retention and storage, wildlife habitat and green space.

This project restored seven acres of wetlands to increase the capacity to capture and treat storm water and to improve habitat. A prescribed fire was undertaken as part of the restoration efforts to help eradicate Phragmites.

Cost: $300,000

Timeframe: 2010-2012

Partners: Alliance of Rouge Communities, City of Southfield, Wayne County, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ecological Effectiveness: No monitoring to date; as part of subwatershed management work of the Alliance of Rouge Communities, two years of post-project monitoring is planned.

Restoration Contact: Alliance of Rouge Communities