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Posted on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Leslie Park Golf Course hosts grand opening event after completion of Traver Creek Project

By Chelsea Hoedl


Jennifer Lawson, water quality manager for the city of Ann Arbor; Colin Smith, parks and recreation services manager for the city of Ann Arbor; and Doug Kelly, director of golf at Leslie Park Golf Course, stand over the recollected Traver Creek.

Courtney Sacco I

The streambank stabilization project conducted on the portion of Traver Creek running through Leslie Park Golf Course is complete.

Now, the public will have the opportunity to learn about the improvements to water quality, the environment and the golf course during the Traver Creek Project grand opening from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The city of Ann Arbor collaborated with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office to correct streambank erosion and address high volumes of sediment and attached pollutants that were being removed downstream.

According to a news release, the project was enacted to stabilize the creek channel and increase the drainage capacity because bank erosion and flooding have a negative effect on water quality and increases golf course maintenance.

“There are a series of state mandates on sections of the Huron River for reducing the amount of phosphorus - which causes a number of problems, reducing the amount of E. coli and biota,” said Evan Pratt, water resources commissioner at the Office of the Washtenaw County Water Resources. “Our focus was on the phosphorus and trying to continue to get that down. This project is a pretty significant bite out of the problem.”

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation, Natural Area Preservation and Water Quality Management city departments came together to address the problem, which required the regarding, stabilization and naturalization of Traver Creek.

With the project complete after 3 years in the planning stage and 5 months of construction, downstream flooding will be alleviated and 687 tons of erosion will be prevented annually.

Officials say 6.5 acres of native area and wetland was created, which will help remove pollutants, reduce runoff volumes and mitigate peak flow rates. It also adds to the aesthetic of the park, as 79 native trees and 347 native shrubs were planted.

“I think people that are at the course a lot, whether they are golfers or walkers, will notice a difference,” Pratt said. “We would expect within two to three years, when the plants mature, people driving along the road will notice more plant life, but it doesn’t have a direct impact on everyone; it’s out of sight, out of mind. A lot of people won’t even be aware of it, but it’s cleaner and that’s what matters.”

Pratt said the event Saturday is to highlight the partnership between the city and the Washtenaw County Water Resource Commissioner’s Office and show the benefits of spending a modest amount of money to clean up the environment.

“We’re inviting people out because we don’t expect the general public to be aware of the changes that were made,” Pratt said. “We want to show people why their tax money is spent on this and why it’s important to get sediments out of the water.”

The event will offer tours, games and refreshments along with the provision of information on the benefits of the completed project.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at


Frank D

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the City is championing water quality on a golf course project? Golf courses have horrible impacts on the surrounding surface water quality.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

@ Frank D: On the contrary, I find it gratifying that golf course managers and environmentalists are finding solutions that meet the needs of all parties - golfers and non-golfers.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

The folks at LPGC are fantastic. Doug Kelly, Scott Spooner, and the entire staff are tremendous, and I am looking forward to watching this already wonderful course mature over the next few years.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

asteck; I couldn't agree more. However I am concerned about the rocks that were dug up from the stream and ponds and distributed about on the playing areas of the course. Take a close look at the both sides of the 18th hole.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

As part of this did they rebuild the 10th green so it slopes the proper direction?


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

this will help the environment and make the course once again the best municipal course in the state of Michigan. I drove out and saw the changes. it was nice to see the running water in the creeks. I would highly recommend taking a look at the changes and playing the course. nice job city of ann arbor.