Located in downtown Cedar Rapids, Noelridge Park is upstream from the McLoud Run Trout Stream that flows through the City. In 2013, it was determined that a tributary stream to McLoud Run that flows through Noelridge Park was in an unstable condition. Large portions of the stream had experienced significant erosion and sediment transport was taking place. To mitigate this, the stream channel and banks were in need of restoration and significant stabilization.
Following historic floods in 2008, Cedar Rapids utilized a Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan for upgrades to its Water Pollution Control facility. A Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Project was applied for and awarded to the City. This project allowed interest from the State Revolving Fund loan to be redirected to finance restoring a portion of the stream through Noelridge Park.
Snyder & Associates modeled stream flows through the City and Park. A typical stream cross-section was designed to accommodate normal flow levels and allow for overflow to upper portions of the channel cross-section and into the floodplain. The stream length was increased and the channel slope was decreased by incorporating meanders into the design. Energy dissipaters for culvert outlets into the stream were designed. Rock check dams were incorporated into the stream channel design to effectively further reduce the channel slope and dissipate energy. Native plants, forbs, and flowers were selected along with native seed mixtures to help naturally stabilize the channel.
The project was let and constructed in 2015. Since that time, native seeding and potted plants that were installed have established themselves and are thriving. City Park staff maintains the native plants to help control invasive species. The restored stream is in a naturally stable condition, significantly reducing erosion, and native plants provide natural storm water filtration, both of which improve the water quality of the McLoud Run Trout Stream.