The Fayetteville Observer, Aug. 14, 2006

Blounts Creek restoration would be a bargain for Fayetteville

Neglect is always easier than restoration, but is seldom as rewarding.
It looks like Fayetteville will have one more crack at enjoying the
benefits of Blounts Creek.

The restoration is to be a joint effort of the engineering firm of CH2M
Hill and the Ecosystem Enhancement Program of the N.C. Department of
Natural Resources.

It doesn’t take many holdouts to skew a deal like this. But the affected
area’s biggest landowners have already signed on, and negotiations for
conservation easements are beginning or proceeding with a dozen or so
property owners in Briarwood.

A year from now, if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees to stream
bank improvements and a few diversions, work could be getting under way
on a project to clean up and beautify the corridor for more than a mile
and a half.

Environmental objections are likely to be few. In fact, the environment
will benefit from erosion control and habitat restoration, and those
improvements are the reason for the project. A partly exposed sewer line
that parallels the creek for more than 2,000 feet will get the attention
it deserves.

The state, by the way, will pick up the tab.

Part of the area will eventually be developed. (The price for one
easement is a usable road providing access to the owner’s property.) But
development, as is already being demonstrated in several parts of the
city, doesn’t have to devalue a greenway. Properly done, they can
complement one another.

Blounts Creek, well on its way to becoming a “lost” watercourse that few
remembered and fewer had any incentive to visit, could soon be on its
way to becoming another in an impressive succession of “found” resources.