Anyone who has ever visited Methodist University knows it is one of the most beautiful, tree-lined, landscaped campuses in the nation. So, it’s no surprise to hear that MU is being recognized for its efforts, care, and management of a project related to its grounds.
Recently, the Stormwater Division of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Public Works Association (NC-APWA) chose MU and its partners as the 2021 Project of the Year for its efforts in promoting excellence in the implementation of projects. The award – in the Natural Systems category – recognizes that collaborative partnerships are critical to project success.
“Methodist had a stream that, over the years, became a steep and deep ravine,” said MU President Stanley T. Wearden. “It was beginning to create structural threats for some of our facilities. We knew it needed to be restored, and we wanted to do the restoration in an environmentally friendly manner that would be sustainable for the long term.”
The project – restoring the 2,300-foot reach of an impaired stream that drains 227 acres of urban watershed toward the Cape Fear River – featured the partnership of Methodist University with environmental companies McAdams, North State, and Jennings. It highlighted the continued efforts MU is putting into maintaining natural habitat conditions on and around its campus. This project not only creates those conditions, but also eliminates downstream sediment loading to the river.
“The transformation of this tributary to the Cape Fear was an incredible feat and it speaks volumes in how the University’s investment in a nature-based approach will provide long-term protection to campus infrastructure,” said Rebecca Stubbs, project manager with McAdams Environmental.
The restored stream has natural channel dimension, pattern, profile, substrate and is planted extensively with native riparian vegetation.
“We could not be happier with the results,” said Wearden. “The restoration has added to the beauty of our campus, has created a habitat for native plant and wildlife species, and will serve as an example and laboratory for our students in the life and environmental sciences. We are grateful for the excellent work of our partners, McAdams, North State, and Jennings.”