The DuPage River has been altered over time through dredging, and the subsequent degradation of the river has been occurring over decades, and this project aims to improve functionality and structure, restoring river health, creating new native habitats, and protecting the Arboretum’s collections.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has undertaken a 5-year project to restore the riverine ecosystem by adding structural diversity to the river, regrading eroded streambanks, removing invasive species, and restoring native plants, and. This project will prevent erosion, improve habitat quality and wildlife populations, and protect the Arboretum’s tree collections. The sloped banks and new plantings will create a more natural river’s edge and boulders and woody debris in the river itself will create eddies and nooks for fish, crayfish, and insects to live and breed. We are not reintroducing wildlife, but providing a better home for wildlife, so organisms already present in the stream can find it and use it. We are improving the foundation of this ecosystem, so current populations of fish, mollusks, plants, and invertebrates will move up and down stream and make it their home. The restoration process includes removing trees along the riverbanks, re-grading banks, planting new trees and shrubs, and adding in-river features. By 2020, the Army Corps of Engineers will monitor the areas as plants grow, and a greater diversity of plant and animal species begin using the the water and riverbanks.
US Army Corps of Engineers