a child, Edwin Jones could ride his bike along University Street, past
houses and Kinston College dormitories — and even the Peachtree
wastewater treatment plant that made up his once-vibrant East Kinston
neighborhood — during the 1950s.
Today, more than 10 years after
Hurricane Floyd’s floods destroyed much of Lincoln City, the street
leading back toward Peachtree is overgrown with trees and brush; the
neatly-manicured United American F.W.B. Tabernacle campus covers land
where houses once stood and that segment of University Street has been
re-named J.E. Reddick Circle.
“It’s real nice and serene, but when it gets like this, people throw
trash there,” Jones said Friday, indicating the tall brush that abuts
the church property.
Jones and his family lived on University from his birth in 1946 until
they moved to Rochelle Boulevard in 1957, where he still lives today.
Jones and other neighborhood residents are worried that if the proposed
stream buffers — part of the state’s ongoing Adkin Branch restoration —
are allowed to grow unchecked as project managers expect them to, those
parcels of land will resemble Lincoln City a decade from now, becoming
a haven for wild animals and litter.
“To allow an area close to the stream to grow up is not in the best
interests of the community,” Jones said. “We’re just hoping they can at
least plan to put something in there so it doesn’t grow large or try to
keep it manicured.”
Kristie Corson of the N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program is project manager for the stream restoration.
She said the buffers along the stream bank will be planted with native
vegetation so they “mimic a coastal plain forest,” and allowed to grow
naturally to reduce sediment flowing into the stream and filter out
harmful nutrients from stormwater runoff.
“Virtually all research that has been conducted on vegetated riparian
buffer strips shows a substantial decrease in pollutants such as
nitrate-nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride, ammonium and sedimentation,”
she wrote in an e-mail.
Corson said that, while the buffer must be allowed to grow naturally,
public access will not be restricted, except to vehicles and hunters.
“You can fish, you can walk, you can catch butterflies,” she explained.
David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 firstname.lastname@example.org.