Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Dead Dog Creek Ravine, end of September

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dead Dog Creek Ravine, end of September

South entrance to the trail
This post ends what turned out to be a year-long project to document the seasonal changes in Dead Dog Creek Ravine.  Serendipitously, last Thursday evening the  Lake County Stormwater Management Commission  had a public meeting to discuss the stream restoration that will begin this fall.   I was able to attend. 

From the SMC website:
The restoration project will stabilize and restore the stream channel and ravine slopes of the creek between Sheridan Road and Geddes Avenue.

The $832,850 USEPA grant is through its Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) program. The grant will fund a streambank/bluff water quality and sediment control bioengineering best management practices project on 2800 linear feet of the Dead Dog Creek in Winthrop Harbor; and create two (residential and business) demonstration sites for runoff reduction best management practices as recommended by the Kellogg Creek Watershed-Based Plan.

Dead Dog Creek is a ravine system that drains approximately 3 square miles of the larger Kellogg Creek watershed. From the ravine, the creek flows through the high quality coastal plain wetland complex of Spring Bluff Forest Preserve and Illinois State Beach Park into Lake Michigan at two outlet points. Approximately 41% of the land in the Dead Dog Creek subwatershed is developed and is generating stormwater runoff from impervious areas into the creek. The additional water flow from urbanization coupled with the locally high gradient stream channel in the ravine has resulted in increased erosion of the stream channel and banks, and sediment to the coastal plain and Lake Michigan. The conversion of land to urban uses has also caused urban runoff pollutants into the stream system. The project will reduce the sediment pollution created by the eroding stream, and will begin to address urban hydrology changes that are increasing the volume of runoff and pollution into the creek.

The west end of the trail
Last month I took a picture of a tagged tree. That was part of a census of all trees 6" and larger in the ravine.  The species included 142 American elms, 130 cottonwoods, 86 sugar maples, 74 burr oaks, and 61 box elders.  The restoration will remove only trees in the access path or work area.  The canopy is fairly dense so some thinning will help the understory.  The big concern is the erosion on the bluffs (whole slopes fall away) and in the streambed. 

The restoration project will begin next winter.  I predict I will be taking more photographs of this beautiful ravine! 

Sign of autumn!


  1. Thanks for the photo diary. It has been a pleasure to "hike" along with you.

  2. I found your site by accident but enjoyed the information. Thanks
    John in the Pines


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