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Stafford County Begins Project at Brooks Park to Reduce Pollution

Stafford is beginning work on a stream restoration project in St. Clair Brooks Memorial Park that will better prevent pollutants from reaching the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay. The project will restore an unnamed 1,500-foot unnamed tributary, decreasing erosion and promoting natural habit. The effort will reduce the amount of runoff, sediment and pollutants and make the stream more sustainable.

Impacts to Brooks Park should be small. The project should not affect the paved walking trails. However, there will be some interruptions to the disc golf course. Disc golf holes 12, 13, 14, 16, and 17 will be temporarily closed during construction. There are stepping-stone crossings within the disc golf course that cross the stream. The project will add native vegetation around the stream to better hold sediment in place, filter out excess nutrients and increase the habitat available for wildlife.

The St. Clair Brooks Park Stream Restoration is Stafford County’s capstone project to reduce Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sediment from the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds as part of its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plan. Funding for the project is partly supported through the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) administered by the VA Department of Environmental Quality and a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant secured by Friends of the Rappahannock in partnership with Stafford County.

The restoration project has several goals: to reduce the amount of bed and bank erosion; reduce sediment and nutrient transport for improved water quality; reestablish a connection between the stream and floodplain; encourage improved aquatic habitat; and provide an aesthetically pleasing recreational site for nearby park and disc golf visitors. The techniques used in the design are meant to imitate the site's natural characteristics and maintain the forested area's aesthetics.

Stafford County thanks visitors to the park for their patience during construction. The project is estimated to be completed in August 2023. For more information on the project and to stay updated on future progress please consult the dedicated St. Clair Brooks Park Stream Restoration website.