Restoring Mohawk Lake to its former glory is a big job, but it is possible. Other communities have cleaned up their waterways and made them a place of recreation for their city. Take a look at some success stories of urban waterways that have been revitalized and made into a usable destination for their city to enjoy.
Victoria Park Lake, Kitchener
Victoria Park Lake in the heart of downtown Kitchener has been a beautiful destination for over 100 years. Schneider Creek flows through Victoria park which carries sediment into the lake basin. The sediment eventually built up, slowly impacting the water quality and taking away the vitality of the lake. The city of Kitchener took on the revitalization of Victoria park Lake in 2012. During this process, over 85,000 tonnes of sediment was removed from the lake. The lake was deepened and a new sediment forebay was added to remove sediment from the water entering the lake. Deepening the lake lowered the water temperature making it a more ideal environment for fish and aquatic plants. The dock and the patio at the boathouse were replaced and the existing bridges were restored. A new bridge across the lake was also added. Today, Victoria Park Lake is back to its highest point of vitality and a beautiful spot for recreation in the city of Kitchener.
Filsinger Creek, Kitchener
Although Filsinger Creek is an extension of Victoria Park Lake, the cleanup initiative was separate. The City of Kitchener set out to revitalize the creek which in turn would make the water flowing into Victoria Park Lake much cleaner. Throughout the Filsinger Creek Naturalization Project many remarkable improvements were made. The existing concrete channel was removed and replaced with a naturalized stream. The trails by the creek were realigned to match the winding creek making it a beautiful place for a walk or a bike ride. Two small wetlands were constructed near storm outlets which now helps to improve the water quality allowing for new fish and wildlife to be introduced. Aside from the revitalization on the creek itself, two pedestrian bridges were also replaced. Now that the project has been completed, Filsinger Creek feeds clean water into Victoria Lake Park and is a beautiful natural landmark in its own right.
Scanlon Creek, Simcoe
Scanlon Creek in Simcoe was once a beautiful destination for swimming and recreation. Over the years the pond has deteriorated due to contamination of E.coli. In 2003 the pond was officially declared off limits for human use. Because the creek was created by a manmade dam, natural fish migration routes were cut off and habitat development was hindered. The logical solution to fix the creek was to remove the pond and the dam. This would improve aquatic habitats while maintaining recreational use. The plan was to remove the dam structure, bring the reservoir down and allow the natural channel to come back. However, it was decided that removing the dam would take away historical significance, so plan B was to have the water take a course around the dam. After the first stages of the revitalization project different wildlife is emerging, the gravel bottom of the creek has been restored and the water is clear. The whole project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.