CNT Selected to Coordinate Hickory Creek Watershed Plan

kidsOn November 18 the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) selected the CNT as the Coordinator of the Hickory Creek Watershed Planning Group. The Watershed Planning Group is conducting an 18-month planning process, with Geosyntec Consultants as the technical consultant, to create a plan to preserve the creek as the surrounding municipalities expand rapidly.

Hickory Creek is one of the finest streams in the Chicago region. Not only is it vital to the Des Plaines river system, but it also has historical significance; early 20th century ecologist Victor Shelford formulated the ground-breaking theory of stream succession based on observations he made at Hickory Creek. Thus, planning for the creek’s future is vital.

For the past two years, CNT has been working with Will County, CMAP, the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network and numerous towns to build support for the watershed planning, and all involved are proud to see the project move forward.

As a stream’s watershed becomes urbanized, it is almost inevitable that the water quality and aquatic habitat will degrade dramatically. This is due to many factors, such as increased waste and a decrease in local plant and animal life. Hickory Creek has experienced this in the recent past, but the Planning Group is aiming to achieve preservation of the stream’s quality by being uniquely responsible for incorporating best practices into future land development and redevelopment. By planning well, the group will ensure that urbanization does not adversely impact the stream.

CNT has become a regional and national leader in the advocacy and practice of utilizing green infrastructure to manage stormwater to protect water resources and improve the quality of living for residents. The organization’s leadership in smart growth and citizen involvement will help bring success to the Hickory Creek Watershed.