The long awaited restoration of Gitzlaff Park is scheduled to start this fall. Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) will restore the north half of Gitzlaff Park in collaboration with the Village of Somers. The parcel is located on the north side of the Somers Branch of the Pike River.
Root-Pike WIN secured $125,000 in grants from the Fund for Lake Michigan and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fully fund the project’s design and construction. No Village funds are being used for the design, construction or short-term maintenance of this project.
Wetland scrapes and plantings will start this fall and undergo three years of maintenance. After three years of invasive species mitigation, the area should be self-sustaining.
The improvements will reduce flooding, curb erosion and mitigate pollutants to the Somers Branch. It will also boost pollinator and vegetation diversity and improve the native oak savanna habitat.
The work will also add a trail system open to the public, giving residents additional opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities.
Gitzlaff Park is a 24-acre property donated to the Village of Somers by Larry Gitzlaff in 2007. The South side of the park is being considered for other passive and active recreational amenities.
More information is available in a Root-Pike WIN press release.