Raleigh Nature

January 15, 2009

Fletcher Park Meets Top and Bottom

Filed under: Central Raleigh, green initiatives, Greenways & Parks — Tags: , — raleighnaturalist @ 2:43 am

   Fletcher Park’s new water garden has been finished, as well documented in a News and Observer article by Tommy Goldsmith.  Mr Goldsmith kindly quotes me about the site:

John Dancy-Jones, a science teacher at Fletcher Academy, has been keeping up with the water garden on his blog at www.raleighnature.com.

“The greenway path beside the water winds around and unifies what used to seem like a very bifurcated setting,” of the park’s upper and lower levels, Dancy-Jones said.

The purpose of the water garden is to slow and filter the water being drained into Pigeon House Branch, down the hill at Capital Boulevard.  Mr. Goldsmith did not quote me on my main reservation about the project, which is that our notoriously low water flow periods might render the ponds stagnant and perhaps slow to fill in the first place.  He stated in a phone conversation that  several springs had been discovered during the course of construction.  I have high hopes for this water garden , but the photo below seems to show seeps rather than springs in the highest portion of the water garden proper.

    What Mr. Goldsmith does do is start his article with a wonderfully appropriate joke about residents of a new $710,00 residence (the mallards in the largest, lowest pond).  Ironically appropriate because the need for this system, paid with mostly state and EPA funds, was created by the dense, impermeable developments right across the street from the park.  But if the designers accomplish their goal – a balanced wetwater ecosystem with rich food chains that keep down mosquitoes, then Fletcher Park can become a gem that represents a small scale model of what will probably happen in the end at Dix: development, and compensation for it that provides valuable amenities for all.  The N&O article cites science evidence that the system is already benefiting Pigeon House Branch, and that waterway needs all the help it can get.

Above, the expeditious mallards. Below, looking toward Glenwood.

Photo tour of finished water garden

 previous posts on Fletcher Park:

September 3rd, 2008

March 23, 2008

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