South Fork Restoration at the Bolick Property
Headed by the New River Conservancy, a non-profit based out of West Jefferson, North Carolina, this project's main goal is restoring 1,700 linear feet upstream of the South Fork of the New River. The Town of Boone, Watauga County and Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting are all working together to help this project come to life. The main goals of this project are:
- Improve water quality and habitat, while also providing recreational opportunities (such as fishing)
- Prevent further erosion of the South Fork's riverbanks by installing manufactured rocks and logs
- Allow the river to access the floodplains gently when it rains
- Restore the riparian buffer, the strip of vegetation alongside the river, to provide habitat for aquatic and semi-aquatic life
- Restore the floodplain wetlands located on and around the Bolick Property
- Floodplain wetlands provide many benefits including habitats for waterfowl, recharging groundwater and reducing the negative impacts of a drought, improving water quality, storing water to prevent downstream flooding and promoting carbon sequestration (a way of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere)
More information on this project can be found in the article New River Conservancy working on phase 2 of a river restoration project near Brookshire Park (PDF), visiting the New River Conservancy's website or contacting George Santucci.
Tree Planting at the Bolick Property
On January 21, 2021 the Town of Boone officially filed the Bolick Property – New River Conservation Easement which protects 30.286 acres of town owned property along the South Fork of the New River. The easement is in partnership with the North Carolina Land & Water Fund (NC LWF) and will protect the property in perpetuity, while allowing for natural riparian restoration, enhanced wildlife habitat, promotion of clean water and passive recreation. With the South Fork of the New River restoration now complete, the Town of Boone, in partnership with New River Conservancy and the High Country Audubon Society, are now working on restoring the over 30 acres of wetland found on this property.
On November 19th, 2021, the New River Conservancy planned a volunteer event where volunteers from the High Country Audubon Society, the Watauga Cooperative Extension, New River State Park and other independent volunteers came together to plant 174 saplings!. Sectioned into four general areas, with two areas of more water-hardy trees in the lower sections of the wetlands and two areas of water-tolerant trees in the upper sections of the wetlands, this property will soon come to life (quite literally)! Thanks to a grant written by the High Country Audubon Society, we will soon have an area dedicated to education, recreation and increased habitat for local wildlife right next door to the new municipal campus.
Upon recent inspection, NRC staff noticed construction in the river of a recently-completed stream restoration project on the South Fork New River. Not to worry, though, this kind of construction is encouraged! During a recent walkthrough of the South Fork Restoration at the Bolick Property project, a newly constructed beaver dam was noticed along the bank opposite the greenway path. Did you know that beavers can actually reduce the threat posed by wildfires? Check out this article, Smokey the Beaver: beaver-dammed riparian corridors stay green during wildfire throughout the western United States, to learn more!
Isn't this exciting? We can't wait to see what other critters decide to make this property their home.
The Town of Boone, in partnership with New River Conservancy, has completed many water restoration projects, which are listed below: