The Park District’s 27,000 acres of parkland includes 43 lakes, more than 30 miles of rivers and streams and over 8,000 acres of wetlands.
Work done by the water resources team includes:
- Sampling water quality of 35 lakes
- Flow monitoring and water quality sampling at 18 stream sites
- Sampling and rehabilitating wells to assure safe drinking water for the public
- Weekly sampling during the summer at public beaches for E. coli bacteria
- Work with partner organizations to protect and restore lakes and streams, and improve overall water quality
Water Resources is the newest of Three Rivers’ natural resources management units.
Wetlands are a vital feature of our natural resources. Three Rivers has been working to restore, protect and recreate wetlands around the Park District, as many wetlands were drained to improve water quality and provide a key wildlife habitat.
Three Rivers manages a system with over 40 water control structures that allow staff, under DNR permit, to manage the water levels in the wetlands. Water level manipulation is used to increase plant diversity and improve habitat for wetland nesting birds, breeding frogs and aquatic mammals. Many of the water control structures have been in place for over 30 years. The Park District is currently developing a replacement program so the wetlands can be maintained and used by a variety of wildlife for years to come.
Some of the best restored wetlands for viewing wildlife can be found at:
As ice recedes from lakes in Three Rivers Park District, Water Resources staff anticipate that several shallow lakes will have experienced fish die-offs over the winter.
The extensive snow depth on lakes this year shaded out all light transparency and reduced or limited the amount of oxygen aquatic plants produced under the ice. In addition, if the aquatic vegetation dies, the decomposition of the plants further depletes oxygen reserves in the water. The combination of these two factors can result in depleted oxygen levels in the water that create stressful conditions and eventually can cause fish to die. Learn more.
There are plenty of ways to volunteer in cooperation with the Three Rivers Department of Natural Resources. Put your time to good use by helping to protect and enrich our earth!