Irvine Nature Center

  • Maryland
  • Baltimore County
  • Wetland: 60.6 AC
  • Stream: 1381 LF
  • Jones Fall Watershed

RES partnered with the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the Irvine Nature Center to apply for funding from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Capital Improvement Grant. The proposal was awarded funding to complete the Irvine Nature Center Stream and Wetland Restoration Project. RES managed and oversaw design, planning, and permitting services which were provided by Biohabitats. Additionally, RES provided construction, invasive control, and planting services. The project also received funding for boardwalks, observation decks and interpretive signs, all which will enhance the visitors’ experience and provide educational opportunities for those who visit the Irvine Nature Center.

The Irvine Nature Center is part of the Jones Falls Watershed. The goal of the project was to transform what was most recently drained agricultural land back into functional wetlands supported by restored streams. RES performed restoration services to 1,381 LF of its waterways and created 60.6 acres of wetlands on the Irvine Nature Center premises. The project was constructed in four phases.

  1. In the Eastern Phase RES installed one wetland and restored 594 LF of stream.
  2. In the Northern Phase RES installed three wetlands and restored 419 LF of stream.
  3. In the Western Phase RES restored 434 LF of stream.
  4. In the Central Phase RES installed one wetland and restored 34 LF of stream.

A series of mulch access roads were installed to allow access to each of the phases and were dismantled upon completion. Erosion and Sediments Controls consisted of hardwood matting, temporary bridges, filter log, silt fence, and super silt fence. Pump around systems were installed, as needed, and dismantled per the plans with each phase. Three boulder grade control structures, two downed log structures, 273 LF of riffle, 100 LF of floodplain riffle, and 77 LF of cascade were installed. RES installed approximately 2,000 LF of berm which aided in the creation of the 60.6 acres of wetland. The site was stabilized with hardwood mulch and coir matting.

RES and Biohabitats were committed to implementing creative and environmentally friendly practices throughout this project. To minimize the import of outside materials, dirt generated from the grading efforts of the wetlands was utilized to construct the berms. The berms themselves serve twofold, aiding in the wetland creation while also adding to the Nature Center’s already extensive network of trail systems. RES was allowed to incorporate any cleared trees into the pools of the wetlands to serve as habitat structures. Wood chips that were brought into the site for the mulch access roads were dismantled and reused as the required sediment control to cover all disturbed and graded areas. Planting of the site was completed in Fall 2017 and consisted of 2,183 trees and shrubs.