Author Archives: thurstonnaturecenter

Construction work is for the most part complete – now moving on with the remaining restoration tasks- Sept 3 to 10

With the exception of our committed TNC volunteers, providing the usual maintenance and stewardship tasks, last week has been quiet at the TNC.

The seeded areas are starting to show some green sprouts, we have a bunch of different birds dropping by to rest and eat before heading south, and once again there is the beautiful and youthful screams of the Thurston students frolicking on the school playgrounds.

For the most part the construction tasks associated with the restoration effort of the pond are complete. The work to improve the conditions of the berm and outlet channel is done. We have managed to remove the permitted amount of sediment (approx.1150 cu. yds.), and provide a deep water habitat for future fish. While we were not able to raise the old nesting island we have created a new one.

We have to finish (within the next 2 weeks) spreading and grading the sediment that has been deposited on the school playground and the OHAC access site. Both areas will be seeded appropriately and restored accordingly.

There are also plans to provide a fence and secure the outlet channel area – specifically the sediment forebay. We are working on the final design and budget, and hope to complete this task within the next month.

So…..we are now ready to move on to planning and executing the next two chapters of this project – –  re-vitalize a diverse and abundant community of desirable native plants and animal species. Tonight (at the TNCC meeting) we will be discussing and sharing some ideas and strategies as to how to proceed in reaching the various objectives and goals associated with each of these challenges. Hope many of you can join!

In the meantime we share the following and commit to staying in touch…..

If you have any questions or suggestions as to how to improve our efforts to communicate our progress please feel free to contact me at frank@thurstonnaturecenter.org

Together as one community….we are trying

Together as one community….we are trying

Pond is still dry - - the gate keeper is keeping the outlet valves open until we complete more restoration tasks

Pond is still dry – – the gate keeper is keeping the outlet valves open until we complete more restoration tasks

Positive effects of the chemical treatments can be seen – dying phragmites and non-native cattails

Positive effects of the chemical treatments can be seen – dying phragmites and non-native cattails

Visitors eating those yummy oats…

Visitors eating those yummy oats…

With a little help from Professor Wooten – this big guy is getting some help moving to the northeast side (reservoir) of the pond

With a little help from Professor Wooten – this big guy is getting some help moving to the northeast side (reservoir) of the pond

Someone is not smiling???

Someone is not smiling???

Part 2 – – Construction site restoration and visitors- Sept 1 & 2

Erosion blankets and seeding (oats and turf grass where applicable) have been placed at most sites where construction work has taken place. The only exception is the east side (OHAC staging area and the Anita Jones access site), as well as the sediment on the school playground.

If you plan to walk around the TNC please try not to walk (includes pets) on the south side. If you decide to walk and see the sites on the south side then please stay on the Pond Circle Trail, as the seeded areas need to get established and grow as quickly as possible. We do not want to pay for re-seeding! Thanks

Erosion blanket and seeding (turf grass) at Yorktown entrance

Erosion blanket and seeding (turf grass) at Yorktown entrance

Around the amphitheater - also has erosion blankets and turf grass seeding

Around the amphitheater – also has erosion blankets and turf grass seeding

South side – headed west on Pond Circle Trail

South side – headed west on Pond Circle Trail

Outlet channel also with control blanket and seeding (oats)

Outlet channel also with control blanket and seeding (oats)

Outlet channel and in the distance the new nesting island (seeded with oats)

Outlet channel and in the distance the new nesting island (seeded with oats)

Wood chips have been placed on south side of Pond Circle Trail (picture is trail to berm from outlet channel)

Wood chips have been placed on south side of Pond Circle Trail (picture is trail to berm from outlet channel)

Trail has chips and new berm extension has the blanket plus seeded with oats

Trail has chips and new berm extension has the blanket plus seeded with oats

Berm extension and Peninsula trail seeded with oats

Berm extension and Peninsula trail seeded with oats

Staging area by OHAC parking lot not restored yet

Staging area by OHAC parking lot not restored yet

View of mudflat and new nesting island

View of mudflat and new nesting island

View of new Nesting Island from Oak-Hickory Woodlot

View of new Nesting Island from Oak-Hickory Woodlot

What’s next?

While the major construction work associated with the actual pond is almost complete, we now move on to the remaining restoration and revitalization tasks we urgently need to tackle.

We have a TNCC meeting scheduled for Sept 10th (check the TNC E-Newsletter for time and location). We will be reviewing this “to do list” at the meeting.

We will need community volunteers to help us do the rest of the restoration work. 

In the meantime the outlet valve will stay open and we will continue to drawdown the water (exception is the northeast portion of the pond) as there are some tasks which still have to be carried out in the pond.

By the way we have many visitors dropping by to rest and unfortunately eat the oats and aquatic life.

Visitors dropping (i.e. blue heron on nesting island) by to check things out

Visitors dropping (i.e. blue heron on nesting island) by to check things out

Canadian geese and my buddy the white egret visiting the outlet channel as well as checking out the logs we placed for the turtles to bask

Canadian geese and my buddy the white egret visiting the outlet channel as well as checking out the logs we placed for the turtles to bask

A couple of swans show up trying to intimidate the group – notice the blue heron on the nesting island does not move

A couple of swans show up trying to intimidate the group – notice the blue heron on the nesting island does not move

My buddy left and the swans decide to visit the mudflat – the heron and Canadian geese continue to “hang out

My buddy left and the swans decide to visit the mudflat – the heron and Canadian geese continue to “hang out

One of the swans heads to the northeast for a swim

One of the swans heads to the northeast for a swim

There’s my buddy -back at his old hang-out

There’s my buddy – back at his old hang-out

Construction site restoration- Sept 1

Clean-up, putting finishing touches (i.e. grading) on various work areas, and implementing soil erosion control tasks are now preceding on site.

The “brain trust” – Barry (TNC), Marty (ECT), Josh (Anglin)…Alice (ECT) and Tom (TNC) were missing (manning the fort)

The “brain trust” – Barry (TNC), Marty (ECT), Josh (Anglin)…Alice (ECT) and Tom (TNC) were missing (manning the fort)

Verify-verify-verify…Marty (ECT) and Barry (TNC)

Verify-verify-verify…Marty (ECT) and Barry (TNC)

Chips and soil erosion blanket placed on Pond Circle Trail and Berm – seeding with oats and perhaps annual rye will be next

Chips and soil erosion blanket placed on Pond Circle Trail and Berm – seeding with oats will be next

Ken (Anglin) final grading at outlet channel

Ken (Anglin) final grading at outlet channel

View of outlet – logs placed to support turtle basking

View of outlet – logs placed to support turtle basking

N.E. side – my buddy caught in the act of eating

N.E. side – my buddy caught in the act of eating

Reflection, observation, reviewing remaining tasks, and establishing future plans- Aug 31

Last week was hard and long….this past weekend was quiet….and it seems that today was a day for reflection, observation, and establishing plans for the remainder of the week and the project.

Early in the morning-all quiet

Early in the morning-all quiet

Canada geese - visiting and making themselves at home

Canada geese – visiting and making themselves at home

Little ones exploring

Little ones exploring

It could be said that we are on our last legs of the project! This week we anticipate the team doing some final touches on the work they have done, some “clean-up”, and providing soil erosion strategies to the impacted areas.

Clean-up time

Clean-up time

Another (2nd) application treatment to get rid of Phragmites

Another (2nd) application treatment to get rid of Phragmites

They thought we were rather rude and left

They thought we were rather rude and left

Channel (including pipes and valves) re-done and outlet structure completed- Aug 27 & 28

Work required to correct the elevation issue caused by the old outlet structure was completed.

The outlet channel is fitted for the beehive grate to be added

The outlet channel is fitted for the beehive grate to be added

Concrete blocks and some cement are used to top-off the outlet structure

Concrete blocks and some cement are used to top-off the outlet structure

Pipes and valves are all back in place

Pipes and valves are all back in place

Mike (TNCC) taking a look – outlet channel to pond complete

Mike (TNCC) taking a look – outlet channel to pond complete

Emergency overflow pipes added back to the channel

Emergency overflow pipes added back to the channel

Mike and Jim (TNCC) discussing next restoration tasks

Mike and Jim (TNCC) discussing next restoration tasks

The ECT and Anglin team deserve a nice weekend – a very long week but a job well done. Yes that’s my buddy out there still eating away!!

The ECT and Anglin team deserve a nice weekend – a very long week but a job well done. Yes…… that’s my buddy out there still eating away!!

.

Outlet structure needs to be replaced- Aug 27

Before we jump into the issue of the outlet structure and more specifically the outlet drain/catch basin, which had to be addressed on the 27th, we wanted to share one more picture taken by Colin on the evening of the 26th. He just posted this photo on the Thurston Nature Center Facebook page!

View from above – from top left hand corner of the photo one can follow outlet channel (consisting of the outlet structure, pipes and valves) sediment forebay, deep habitat pool, the two off-shoot channels, and the Nesting Island

View from above – from top left hand corner of the photo one can follow outlet channel (consisting of the outlet structure, pipes and valves) sediment forebay, deep habitat pool, the two off-shoot channels, and the Nesting Island

On-site conditions, which were not possible to confirm before the construction work on the outlet channel, caused us to make some changes to our outlet beehive drain/structure/catch basin. The floor of the existing outlet structure had concrete that sloped up from the invert toward the pond side of the structure. This concrete prevented the outlet pipe we had just placed in the outlet channel from being installed at the required lower elevation. Because of the critical nature of this elevation, it was agreed that the existing structure would need to be replaced and the proper elevation of the pipe would need to be re-established.

Perhaps some further explanation and definition is needed…..

Many of the terms used to describe the various components (i.e. outlet structure, drain, beehive drain, catch basin, etc..) are confusing because they frequently provide more than one function. Therefore, the terms are often “interchanged”.

In the case of our pond at the TNC, the water discharged from the pond, goes through an outlet structure (by the Pond Circle Trail), and into the AAPS stormwater pipe before being introduced into the city stormwater pipe at Prairie Street.

The outlet structure is at the outlet of the channel and provides a transition between the water flowing from the pond (though the channel and outlet pipe) and the inlet to the AAPS stormwater pipe. Sometimes you might have heard us call it a beehive drain. The drain has a specific grate that sits on top of the drain which is referred to as a beehive grate. Therefore, the term beehive drain is sometimes used.

The ECT and Anglin Civil team discovered this issue and resolved it in a timely and efficient manner. Unfortunately, it cost us one day and additional funds, which fortunately were previously allocated in a contingency budget.

Sal (Anglin) & Alice (ECT) verifying and checking elevations

Sal (Anglin) & Alice (ECT) verifying and checking elevations

Sal (Anglin) & Alice (ECT) - - only way to check things out

Sal (Anglin) & Alice (ECT) – – only way to check things out

Outlet channel has to be dug-up

Outlet channel has to be dug-up

Pipes and valves needed to be removed

Pipes and valves needed to be removed

Pipes removed

Pipes removed

Gate valve removed

Gate valve removed

Extra effort-whatever it takes

Extra effort-whatever it takes

New outlet structured is delivered to site

New outlet structure is delivered to site

Holes are cut in new outlet structure for pipe

Holes are cut in new outlet structure for pipe

Existing outlet structure torn apart and removed

Existing outlet structure torn apart and removed

Concrete of existing structure has to be cut

Concrete of existing structure has to be cut

A lot of work

A lot of work

Making hole for new outlet structure

Making hole for new outlet structure

Measurements verified

Measurements verified

New outlet structure ready to be placed in hole

New outlet structure ready to be placed in hole

Put into hole

Put into hole

Proper placement and positioning is critical

Proper placement and positioning is critical

Concrete pipe added to new structure

Concrete pipe added to new structure

Pipe in structure

Pipe in structure

Pipe is connected to AAPS stormwater inlet pipe for drainage of water

Pipe is connected to AAPS stormwater inlet pipe for drainage of water

Channel re-dug and prepped for re-installation of outlet pipes and valves

Channel re-dug and prepped for re-installation of outlet pipes and valves

Wrapping up pond pool and channel excavations- Aug 26

Many thanks to Colin Brooks for the fabulous two photos taken on the evening of the 26th, after much of the pond excavating had been completed for the day. Photos can also be seen on the Thurston Nature Center Facebook page.

View of Thurston Pond from the southeast – excavation work is shown on the left (southwest)

View of Thurston Pond from the southeast – excavation work is shown on the left (southwest)

Photo shows the results of the excavation work associated with the outlet channel, sediment forebay, as well as the construction of the deep water pool, channels, and Nesting Island

Photo shows the results of the excavation work associated with the outlet channel, sediment forebay, as well as the construction of the deep water pool, channels, and Nesting Island

Much of the work done on the 26th was associated with providing the “final touches” to the excavation work related to the construction of the deep water pool, channels, and Nesting Island.

ECT engineers were on site working with Anglin’s construction team, to verify that the actual “on-site work” matched the plans and permit requirements. Elevations, grades, depths, volume of sediment removal, and many other aspects of the work were reviewed. In most cases only minor modifications (a little more digging and more sediment removal) were needed as the majority of the work was meeting the project objectives.

ECT and Anglin checking things out

ECT and Anglin checking things out

Marty - Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. - (ECT)

Marty – Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. – (ECT)

Marty verifying actual site conditions versus plans

Marty verifying actual site conditions versus plans

View from northwest edge of peninsula

View from northwest edge of peninsula

Needs to be a little deeper and wider?

Needs to be a little deeper and wider?

Deeper

Deeper

More digging on west channel & pool

More digging on west channel & pool

4 feet down and we find a log not decomposed

4 feet down and we find a log not decomposed

Channel to the southeast looks okay

Channel to the southeast looks okay

Outlet channel open all the way to pond

Outlet channel open all the way to pond

Overall a good day and our buddy is still out there in the northeast…..must still be good eating

Overall a good day and our buddy is still out there in the northeast…..must still be good eating