Stanly News & Press Mar. 30, 2007

Restoration at Badin

By Kim Kinnecom, Staff Writer

Thursday, March 29, 2007— The Badin Inn Golf Resort and Club recently announced “the ditch is history.”
Property owner Andy Kinnecom, reported the golf course was selected for a restoration project worth more than a million dollars from the state that will transform the winding dilapidated French drains into a new and improved stream restoration project that will run through the golf course.
Kinnecom said Bryan Dick, a stream restoration and hydraulic engineer with EarthTech, a Tyco International subsidiary in Raleigh, met with him in August 2006 to discuss the potential for the restoration as he was scouting sites throughout the state for a prospective wetlands restoration project.
“Cost proposals were opened at public bid and based on cost benefit, NC-NCDNR-EEP selected the Badin restoration project as one of six to be
“At the time it seemed like a far-fetched idea and too good to be true,” Kinnecom said.
The project is the result of compensation North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is required to provide as new roadways are constructed and wetlands are lost. NCDOT can make up for any net losses of wetlands by restoring other sites.
As NCDOT is responsible for the second largest state-maintained road network in the country, it assumes ownership and maintenance for more than 78,000 of the state’s approximately 101,000 miles of roads.
“The 24-27 project is possibly what’s driving this. There is anticipation that roadway improvement in Stanly and surrounding counties will impact local streams,” Dick said.
An Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP) was created by the state in 2003 to coordinate all off-site compensatory mitigation needs of transportation infrastructure and other economic development in the state.
EEP is administered by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDNR) and was created as a result of NCDOT’s wetland mitigation needs.
“Private property owners, municipalities and other governmental agencies can apply to EEP for funds to restore, enhance or preserve areas of wetlands or streams located within their properties,” Kinnecom said.
He said the entire 6,000 plus lineal feet of concrete ditch running from Valley Drive to Little Mountain Creek behind the 15th green will be replaced with an efficient and natural looking stream, eco-friendly vegetation, large new bridges and a pond.
The restoration will also result in a new No. 15 tee and putting green, a No. 16 tee complex, a rest room comfort station, new cart paths and significant irrigation upgrades. Kinnecom said the preliminary design plans also include new wide storm water drains being constructed under Valley Drive and a new golf cart crossing area.
“Starting from Valley Drive, the new stream will follow the existing drainage corridor for about 100 yards towards the 17th green. It’ll then sweep right toward the No. 11 pond, then way right of No. 17 cart path. The old concrete ditch between the cart path and fairway will be filled and sloped toward the new stream, providing positive drainage relief and hopefully drying up the fairway,” he said.
The restored stream will be end up being about 20 to 40 percent longer than the existing stream.
“Little Mountain Creek is already impaired. It’s no longer healthy and it is threatened. The restored channel that will run through the middle of the course will be a part of the beginning to reduce sediment and nutrient (nitrogen phosphorus) contaminants to the creek and its watershed,” Dick said.
The project will also restore native plant communities and habitats.
“It will help reconnect the wildlife habitat from a natural heritage area through the Little Mountain Creek corridor,” he said.
Dick said the project consists of an initial environmental screening, design phase, construction, reforestation of the constructed channel and monitoring of the stream and plant community for a five year period.
“In order for the project to legitimately get credit for mitigating the damages to existing streams, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires the five year monitoring. We have to prove to the corps of engineers that the stream is restored and functional.,” Dick said.
Construction is anticipated to begin in October and should last about four months, moving quickly without affecting golfers.
“Bryan has assured us that his team will work with us on minimizing any disruption to play, working in phases to ensure the least amount of distraction to golfers,” Kinnecom said.