Stranger Creek wetland and Stream mitigation Bank
Leavenworth County, Kansas
Swallowtail operates the 65-acre Stranger Creek Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank which has been approved as the first stream mitigation bank in Kansas and the first wetland mitigation bank outside of Johnson County.
This property contains one side of a half mile of Stranger Creek, the largest tributary to the Lower Kansas River. Although it is listed by the State of Kansas as a High-Priority Fishery Resource, Stranger Creek is heavily impacted by agriculture. Before the initiation of restoration activities, this parcel was a row crop farm field with relatively thin riparian buffers along Stranger Creek and an intermittent tributary. The Stranger Creek stream bank was highly eroded along a portion of this property and two small intermittent streams that carry runoff from the adjacent agricultural properties across the site had been channelized into functionally-impaired drainage ditches. As a result of these factors and the presence of similar conditions throughout its watershed, Stranger Creek is listed as being impaired biologically by excess nutrients and/or sediments downstream of this restoration site.
Swallowtail recognized the restoration potential of this site and initiated several important ecological improvements. These included reducing stream bank erosion along Stranger Creek by constructing a 300-foot long longitudinal peaked stone toe bank stabilization project and planting willow cuttings along 1,800 feet of the Stranger Creek bank, widening the Stranger Creek riparian buffer to 300 feet, creating or restoring more than 18 acres of floodplain wetlands, and restoring more than 3,000 linear feet of the channelized intermittent streams to natural stream channels with 200-foot-wide riparian buffers.
This mitigation bank has completed its five-year monitoring period after successfully meeting all of its performance standards. All credits have been sold; the restoration of the wetlands and streams on this property was used as compensation for impacts to those habitats from 43 projects in northeastern Kansas, including schools, roads, and a hospice in addition to numerous residential and commercial developments.