Flood Mitigation Project Brings More Wildlife to Town

Leesburg leaders gathered with members of the Virginia Knolls Community Association on Saturday morning to formally celebrate the completion of the Tuscarora Creek Flood Mitigation and Stream Restoration project. 

Begun in 2019, the $3.7 million project primarily was aimed at protecting nearby townhomes from flooding as Tuscarora Creek frequently overflowed its banks during heavy storms. But the town got much more than a new floodwall that will protect that property. 

Working with a team from Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, the town has created a new natural area with the former channel converted into a meandering stream. The area has been restored with more than 15,000 plantings that have brought back a variety of wildlife and aquatic species. During Saturday’s event, two pairs of Canada geese with young ducklings in tow and a white egret were among the visitors to the property. A pair of nesting mallards, tree swallows, bluebirds, king fishers, herons also have been seen and crayfish and minnows have returned to the water. 

“If you remember what this was like … this was not a meandering stream like it is now. It was a roaring stream, and it was not uncommon for it to go over its banks,” Mayor Kelly Burk said. “This project was really a project of love. … It’s a great place to come down and walk and enjoy.”

The project is located at Brandon Park, bisected by Harrison Street between Catoctin Circle and Shenandoah Street.

Next, the town is planning a trail that will connect the park to the W&OD Trail near Douglass School and then another trail extending to Davis Avenue and Olde Izaak Walton Park through the Tuscarora Creek stream valley. 

Leave a Reply