The Village Lake stream flows into the northeast side of Village Lake and drains approximately 270 acres. The drainage is more than 70 percent agricultural row crops and almost 25 percent pasture. A significant amount of erosion was historically occurring in the watershed of the Village Lake Stream which resulted in a loss of at least an acre of Village Lake and adjacent wetland at the mouth of this tributary. It was noted in various field inspections of the site between 2004 and 2009 that the embankments of the stream were a significant source of sediment to the lake. The significance was documented by the measured 531 feet of vertical banks from three to five feet in height. At a conservative erosion rate of just six inches per year, these banks alone contributed over two tri-axle dump truck loads (about 40 cubic yards) of eroded soil to Village Lake. In addition to the sediment loading, the 20-30 grazing cattle had open access to the stream and lake contributing an unknown amount of bacteria, nitrogen, and phosphorus to the Turkey Creek system.
As a result, WACF pursued design and construction funding through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) Program to reduce the erosion and nutrients entering Village Lake. The work included moving thousands of cubic yards of soil to create the floodplain, 10 acres of seed mix on the upland slopes and floodplains, 119 coconut-straw erosion control blankets, over 30 grade control boulder structures, and over ½ mile of electric fencing to keep the cows out of the new floodplain. Several years of funding through funding from the DNR LARE program financed the restoration of the stream. LARE granted $46,875 in 2009 for stabilization work on the stream and another $20,000 for construction of a wetland at the outflow of Village Lake Stream in 2011. In addition, WACF received a $5,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for Village Lake Stream wetland plantings at the outflow in 2011.
This restoration project has included approximately 2,000 l.f. of grade control structures and completed approximately 1,800 l.f. of stream restoration including approximately 300 feet of soil encapsulated lifts, and over two acres of floodplain development.