Bull Creek Flooding

I’m VJ Cepa and my husband is Steve. Our home sits on one acre in northern Illinois. We bought this property because of its location; just a short walk down the street and we’re on the Liberty Prairie Reserve. It’s a little bit of country living with all the convenience of in-town living.

We are fortunate to have 100 feet of riparian area as part of our backyard. The north branch of Bull Creek runs through our suburban subdivision providing a habitat for many flora and fauna native to northeastern Illinois riparian ecosystems. On the 20th of July 2005, a microburst took down many tree limbs and trees along Bull Creek. Some trees fell into or across the creek obstructing flow. That weather event sparked individual and neighborhood creek-side clean-up efforts.

While there ware no major environmental problems with the Creek’s health at that time, it had been neglected for many years. As such, the banks were over-grown with invasive flora and there was considerable erosion. In addition, upstream business development during the previous decade was noticeably increasing the run-off into the Creek. The combination of these factors increased the risk of flood damage.

Buckthorn & Garlic Mustard Invasion

So began an odyssey of revitalizing the Creek. A group of homeowners’ banded together and began to apply for grant money to defray the costs  for a professional evaluation of Bull Creek. In 2006, the team received a grant which allowed Integrated Lakes Management (ILM) to do the riparian evaluation and suggest recommendations and site-specific improvements. Over the next four years, armed with ILM’s fairly detailed report, Steve and I started step 1 of our own personal creek restoration project with invasive plant removal. Our Creek restoration project was born as the smell of garlic filled the air. We’re not experts, just DIYs who have a love of nature, science backgrounds, and a desire to make our world a little bit Greener! We encourage you to follow our progress as we attempt to restore and stabilize our portion of the Bull Creek shoreline.

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