Many of you students at NCSU might have noticed a creek running through central campus. This is the Rocky Branch Creek, and it can most easily be seen when walking on the Rocky Branch trail that goes from Pullen Park all the way through central campus. It drains into Walnut Creek, which drains into the Neuse river. Even though today it is a lovely view for your morning walks, it was not always this way. In 1978 the Rocky Branch Creek was the most polluted stream in urban North Carolina, according to the Division of Water Quality. Development in the surrounding area cut off its drainage and floodplain areas. Channelization led to loss of biodiversity and habitats for certain animals living around the creek. This degradation of the creek made it something to not be proud of, but that has dramatically changed.
Noticing the creeks degradation people took action, and the creeks renewal began. The main concept that led to a full recovery of the creek was natural channel design techniques that led to a new floodplain that the river can flow through. The restoration of the creek has led to increased native plant life around the creeks new floodplain. This provides a greater habitat for the urban wildlife to inhabit. Increased planting, by NC State, has also increased the plant life in the area around the creek. If you would like to learn more about the Rocky Branch creek, and its restoration, try walking the Rocky Branch Trail one day. It is beautiful, relaxing, and a great way to get outdoors. Along the trail, there are many signs that explain the restoration process, where the new floodplain is, what wildlife is near, and many other facts about the area surrounding the Rocky Branch Creek.