The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, located on the campus of James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, VA, recently undertook a project to restore 1,080 feet of a headwater tributary to Blacks Run, an impaired tributary of the South Fork Shenandoah River.

Ecosystem Services’ design team identified that the project could be used to improve water quality and habitat while meeting MS-4 nutrient load reductions. Using natural channel design elements, the design team established a meandering stream pattern, reconnected the stream with the floodplain, established a riparian buffer and created adjacent wetland areas.

The project recently received an honorable mention in the 2017 Best Urban BMP in the Bay Awards. Don’t miss the opportunity to check this project out either walking through the arboretum or attending a guided tour. Education signage is available to help you gain a deeper understanding the science and practice of stream restoration as a stormwater BMP.

If you have questions, or would like to learn more about the connection between watershed development and stormwater management, the critical role of wetlands and floodplain connection, and the principles governing natural channel design please email us at