Improved wetlands surrounding Muscatine Slough to help mitigate flooding issues

@CityOfMuscatine photo

The wetlands area surrounding the Muscatine Slough received a face lift of sorts recently with the clearing of trees and removal of some sediment that had accumulated causing flooding problems.

Problems with flooding and ponding in the area around the Kent Stein Park Lift Station prompted the City of Muscatine to reach out to an engineer specializing in wetlands to examine the area between Houser Street and the Pollinator Park area, and from the Soccer West Complex to the Muscatine Transfer Station.

“We had significant issues maintaining the equipment at the Kent Stein Park lift station after flooding events,” Jon Koch, Water Resource and Recovery Facility director, said. “We eventually had to relocate most of the equipment from the underground facility to a new above ground facility.”

The wetlands area is a gathering point for storm water running down ditches and creeks from Muscatine’s higher elevations in the southern end of town, and that created a dam of sediment that prevented water from flowing down the slough. The buildup of sediment needed to be removed to allow the water to flow and not back up into Kent Stein Park, Soccer West, or businesses located nearby.

“This was a great opportunity to restore the wetlands area and assist with mitigating flooding of low-lying areas near this location,” Koch said.

The wetlands engineer identified what trees could be cut down to open the area up along with brush that could be cleared.

“You have to leave the stumps but just removing some of the trees and cleaning up the sediment deposits has already improved the wetlands area,” Koch said. “It will be a great addition to the Pollinator Park area.”

The Pollinator Park trail is a one-mile loop that runs from the Kent Stein Park trailhead around the Pollinator Park and follows the slough around the Muscatine Transfer Station back towards the trailhead.

“The additional wetlands will create an even better experience for those who walk the trail,” Koch said. “There will be plenty of wildlife and flowering plants for people to see and appreciate. Our pollinators will also love the improved wetland area.”