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Posted on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Traver Creek restoration project in Ann Arbor won't interrupt golf play at Leslie Park

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials are inviting residents to a public meeting tonight to discuss the Traver Creek Streambank Restoration Project that will take place on the Leslie Park Golf Course.

In an email to golfers, Doug Kelly, the city's director of golf, said the project will not interfere with normal golf play, nor will there be any major changes to the course or any of its holes.

The majority of the work will be done from November through March.


The view at hole 13 at Ann Arbor's Leslie Park Golf Course along Traver Creek.

City of Ann Arbor

"The holes adjoining the creek (number 10, 12, 13, and 17) might see some expansion of the streambank areas and walls," Kelly wrote.

"The addition of some aesthetic features on these holes is also being planned out," he added. "Hole number 11 might see an expansion of the wetland between the tee and the fairway. But again, all of this work will be done during the winter months and not affect golf play."

Today's meeting runs from 7-9 p.m. at the Leslie Science & Nature Center inside the Nature House at 1831 Traver Road.

City staff, along with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office staff, will be on hand to present the conceptual design, answer questions and receive feedback.

Kelly said he looks forward to hearing questions and concerns about the project. He pointed out no golf course funds are being used for the county project.

"After many meetings and the consultation of Arthur Hills Golf Design Group (who did our renovations in 1995), the A2Golf staff feel that this project would not only be a benefit to the golf course and the golfers who love Leslie Park, but also as part of our mission statement, it will benefit the community and residents of Ann Arbor," Kelly wrote.

As part of the project, Traver Creek is being regraded, stabilized and naturalized, focusing on mitigating downstream flooding and addressing bank erosion, as well as the reduction of the phosphorus load in the creek, which feeds into the Huron River in Ann Arbor.

The headwaters of Traver Creek are in agricultural lands north of the US-23/M-14 interchange, flowing south near several residential subdivisions, under Plymouth Road, and through the Island Drive apartment complex. The creek joins the Huron River just upstream of Island Park.

The rate of residential growth within Traver Creek's 7-square-mile watershed has accelerated in the last decade, according to the city's website.

For more information on the project, contact Jennifer Lawson, the city's water quality manager, at 734-794-6000, ext. 43735 or

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

I love that course. The improvements they have done over the last five years have been appreciated by us residents. I now have more gents from my travel group wanting to travel here to play Leslie, verses in years past we I would have to travel to Plymouth, Auburn Hills or even Toledo to play. I attended the meeting last night and on paper, the plan sounds like a win-win. I understand why the county wants to do this project. I understand why the golf course wants to do this project and I am glad to hear that this will be at no cost to the course. My biggest concern is that this course was recently named the best municipal course in the state, I ask that the staff be careful and not alter a great thing too much! Also, the expansion of the creek and the impact it might have I slow play needs to be addressed. Keep up the good work!


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Between this creek and county farm park, the city is sure spending a lot on creeks. WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO PAVE SOME ROADS! Our tax dollars are being spent on non-essential items while the infrastructure of the city crumbles.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

When the mismanaged creek started to wash away roads & flood basements your tune would change. Dealing with water is part of a city's infrastructure. I'm sure glad the staff of Ann Arbor realize this.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

I was hoping they'd run the creek underground so it wouldn't interfere with the course. I've lost my balls there more times than I can count.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Never understood golf or why people play it.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

tiger woods will be joining my foursome at traver golf next month.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

Will there be a couple employees from Denny's or IHOP in the foursome too?


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

never mind the amount of pollution caused by said golf course. As long as rich, white folk can put on ugly pants and drive electric cars around an overly manicured landscape, it's all good.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

To 63Townie: Perhaps you should go out and gather proper information before you start making such acquisitions. As per the meeting the other night, the City has been phosphorus free for more than five years now and the golf course follows those rules. Steve, the superintendent at the course says he has never put any phosphorus on the course and in fact the Partners for Clean streams who monitor the Traver Creek entering and leaving the course says that the stream is cleaner leaving the course than when it enters. So your phosphorus laden mess comment is not only not true, but a good indication you are commenting on emotion, not the facts. To Brian Kuehn - well said!


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

The neighborhood I live in is directly upstream of the golf course. I can attest that the water in Traver Creek is a phosphorous-laden mess even before it flows into our ponds.

Brian Kuehn

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Here is an excerpt from a press release on Leslie Park Golf Course's recent certification: "Leslie Park Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs. "To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," explained Sluiter. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Leslie Park Golf Course is the 11th course in Michigan and the 960th in the world to receive the honor. Additionally, LPGC is only the 2nd course in the state to be certified in Audubon's program and the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program. I think the staff of Leslie Park GC should be lauded for working to minimize any environmental impact the course creates. So yes, I would say you are generalizing when you characterize Leslie Park was a polluting playground for rich white people.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

at brian, is it generalizing to say that golf courses are some of the worst culprits of runoff pollution? not when it's true. As for mort, i'm glad to know they have more than one type of cart that keeps them from having to walk for the "sport"


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Gee what a you know what statement!. Golf carts come in gas and electric. Maybe we should shutdown cars that driver our streets. i have seen others play besides rich white folks play. Sorry I am still laughing at your comment.

Brian Kuehn

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

Thanks for reminding me that uninformed stereotyping is alive and well in the Ann Arbor area.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Sounds like good news, now bring on the golf weather!