Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The last scoop

November 27, 2012 -- Today, RC&D removed the last scoop of sediment from the former mill pond.  The floodplain of the river is now revealed. 

 

Unlike what you might expect, the floodplain is not flat -- instead, it has gently sweeping highs and lows.  The engineers had included highs and lows in the design plans (referred to as "microtopography").  In the end, it was not necessary to build in the microtopography; it was already present in the natural contours.

 
Over the next week, landscapers will be planting the floodplain with native trees and shrubs, tailoring the location of the plants to the topography.  Plants that prefer wetter conditions will cluster in the low spots.  Those that thrive in slightly dryer conditions will sit on the gentle rises.  Next spring, as plants bloom or leaf out, this topographic variation will lead to a colorful mosaic.