Riverside Park Creek:

Streamside Restoration Project

In 2023, Rock River Coalition and the City of Watertown partnered to install native plants along part of Riverside Park Creek in Watertown, WI. The restoration project replaced turf grass with natural landscaping and native species. With the planting finished in September of 2023, Riverside Park Creek will start to receive the benefits of stream bank restoration, including improved water quality for the Rock River. The strategic location will help filter runoff water, prevent erosion into the creek, and provide habitat for native species. Read more about the project and benefits of creekside restoration below.

The creekside restoration is northeast of Labaree Street. Click, here, to see where is the planting is on Google Maps.

Creekside Restoration Benefits

Over time, the restoration planting will both enhance the beauty of stream and provide environmental benefits. A natural stream bank performs much better than turf grass at reducing runoff. The roots of native plants reach 3-10’ in depth, capturing pollution like nutrients (fertilizers), chemicals (weed killers), and road salt, that are carried off the nearby fields and streets. When there are less available nutrients, like phosphorus, in the water there are less algal blooms in our rivers and lakes. Algal blooms are not only unpleasant for recreation but also decrease dissolved oxygen levels, killing native aquatic organisms, like walleye, bass, and other native fish. The new native plants on Riverside Park Creek will also help reduce erosion and cut down on maintenance.

Planting Day

September 23rd, 2023

The planting was installed on September 23rd with the help of 14+ volunteers, who planted over 450 native grasses and flowers. Species like cardinal flower, wild iris, and bergamot will be blooming in the summers to come.


Thank you to the sponsors that made this project possible: