It all began last summer when a handful of Alden Volunteers sawed and hacked away at a tangled web of branches, brush and vines that grew along the banks of Spencer Creek. The issue of storm water runoff from the roadway into the creek which flows into Torch Lake had been a concern of the Water Quality Protection Project for some time. A grant was acquired from the DEQ and plans were approved for the rain garden. The Alden State Bank, the Alden Bar & Grill, Bruce’s Excavating & Landscaping and the Alden Volunteers partnered with the Antrim Conservation District and construction on the garden began.
The new rain garden will not only add to the beauty of the area especially once the plants start to bloom but at the time will reduce polluted runoff by providing a “infiltration technique”. This technique causes water to be captured in the garden of native plantings and slowly filter into the ground rather than directly draining into the creek.
A second rain garden in the form of a “Greenbelt Buffer” has just been approved by the DEQ for construction on the grassy area located west of the large house next to Alden’s Harbor known as “Valleau’s Landing”. This will be a joint project between the Watershed Center in Traverse City and Antrim Conservation District in conjunction with White Pines Associates.