Morad Park and the river have re-opened, construction to continue this Spring

All Platte River Revival in-river construction work has concluded until Spring when the additional vegetation will be planted and the boat ramp in Morad Park will be constructed according to the City of Casper. “We consider the work on these 1.2 miles of river to be an outstanding accomplishment,” said Jolene Martinez, project coordinator. The sites constructed include Morad Park, along Wyoming Boulevard, and near the water treatment plant. They are the first three of seven sites identified in the North Platte River Environmental Restoration Master Plan (2012) for in-river construction. “We plan to construct the rest of the sites by 2020,” continued Martinez. Morad Park and the river have re-opened. “Because we moved the river about 80 feet to the west and corrected some bank erosion issues, we have new riverbank in this stretch with a gravel pathway and five new wetlands. All of it has been seeded,” explained Martinez. “It will take about two growing seasons for all the vegetation to properly grow. We ask that people using the area respect the disturbed soil areas and avoid heavy use.” Martinez stated that signs are posted as reminders and the boat ramp area will be fenced.The construction included rock structures built in the river to direct water to the middle of the channel, woody debris structures built into the river banks to decrease erosion, and wetlands built to filter polluted storm water from storm drains. Bank erosion abatement, water quality improvement, habitat improvement, and economic development opportunities were some of the river restoration outcomes cited by Martinez. “Improving the river corridor eco-system makes it more aesthetically pleasing and more hospitable to birds, fish, wildlife, and people,” said Martinez. “I am personally excited about the native plant diversity that we are beginning to see since the removal of Russian olives and the possibility that one of the best fisheries in the world may extend from Grey Reef through our urban core.” The Platte River Revival is a collaboration of 21 private companies and organizations, nine government agencies, and thousands of volunteers. Led by the City of Casper, it is focused on restoring or reviving nearly six miles of the thirteen and a half miles of the North Platte River flowing through the city. Its Volunteer Day that occurs every September is the largest National Public Lands Day event in the country. Feature Photo: h.t Christopher Thomas/Pitchengine Communities #oilcity #news