Chilogate Stream Restoration Underway near Foothills Parkway
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that
work has begun through the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program
to restore the lower 5,000 feet of Chilogate Creek near the
Foothills Parkway and the confluence with Chilhowee Lake. The
restoration work will return the stream to its original
meandering path which will both enhance riparian wetland habitat
as well as reducing the risk of undercutting by the current
stream alignment along Happy Valley Road and the Ft. Loudon
“We are excited to have this opportunity to restore Chilogate Creek and the associated wetlands,” said Jeff Troutman, Chief of Resource Management and Science. “Restored streambanks and wetland vegetation will help create a buffer that better filters sediments and improves water quality.”
The project will restore the original stream meander in the lower reaches and repair damaged streambanks on the upper reaches. Wetland communities, rare in the park, will be enhanced through this project providing improved habitat for a variety of species as well as improving water quality. The area includes critical wetland habitat for a state listed plant, Tennessee pondweed (Potamogeton tennesseensis), which is found near Chilogate Creek's confluence with Chilowee Lake. The work will also include removing the invasive, non-native Brazilian water milfoil.
The restoration project should be completed by April 2015. For more information about park wetlands, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/dff7-focusnps1.htm.