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Posted In: Environment

Henrico Creek Receives Extreme Makeover

Andy Thompson

June 20, 2016 3:11pm

Today’s Times-Dispatch’s featured a really interesting article by Elliott Robinson on a stream restoration project along a stretch of Henrico Co.’s Hungary Creek. As Robinson wrote:

Hungary Creek carved a 6- to 8-foot gully through seven forested properties. It sent vegetation, debris and an estimated 100 tons of silt a year rapidly downstream and into a reservoir known as Hoehns Lake.

A section of Hungary Creek was restored between the two lakes shown above.

A section of Hungary Creek was restored between the two lakes shown above.

“The stream was way too deep,” said John Newton, capital projects manager for the county’s Department of Public Works. “There was just too much volume, too much velocity in this channel.”

Hungary Creek was among 200 miles of streams in the county that officials have assessed over the years in hopes of undoing practices of the past and reducing the level of sediment and nutrients that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay.


Henrico has other similar projects in the works, as does the City of Richmond. But in Richmond, at least one has become a source of controversy. Click here to read more about that.

At Hungary Creek, Robinson writes, a shallow streambed between 1 and 2 feet deep was constructed to gently cascade over rocky terrain and slow down at pools in the curves. Large, buried wood or stone structures were designed to encourage the creek to overflow into the floodplain instead of eroding down again, Newton said….Currently, the site is largely denuded of trees, but new shrubs and trees will be planted in the fall. The creek flows near the edges of properties that homeowners rarely used, which was helpful in getting them to agree to the work…The amount of silt in the creek, which was equivalent of about 10 dump-truck loads, has been reduced by at least 90 percent due to the revamped waterway, he said.


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?