St. Clair Brooks Park Stream Restoration

Project Overview:
St. Clair Brooks Park encompasses a significantly eroded tributary to the Rappahannock River. Streambank erosion is a large contributor of sediment pollutants in our waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency lists sediment as the most common pollutant in rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Sediment in stream beds disrupts the natural food chain by destroying the habitat where the smallest stream organisms live. Stafford County aims to restore this tributary to promote a more sustainable stream by decreasing erosion and promoting natural habitat.

Streams are dynamic systems that move and change over time to transport water and sediment from their watershed. A stream’s alignment, width, depth, velocity, or slope may need to be altered to accommodate changing quantities of runoff, sediment, and pollutants. The St. Clair Brooks Park Stream Restoration design considers these conditions and establishes a natural stream pattern for stability and stream flow capacity.

Stream restoration design is developed by first assessing the existing conditions of the stream. Data was collected including rainfall, stream flow, bank erosion, nutrient information, and habitat information. Using this information, a design was developed intended to reconnect the stream with the floodplain using structural components seen in natural systems. These techniques are meant to imitate the site's natural characteristics and maintain the forested area's aesthetics.

The Restoration Consists of:
- Realigning the stream
- Re-establishing the natural floodplain
- Installing control structures to increase stability and prevent erosion from high flow velocities 
- Providing natural measures and vegetation for wildlife and aquatic organisms.

Why Restore?
- Reduce Erosion
- Improve Water Quality
- Re-establish Floodplain
- Improve Wildlife and Aquatic Habitat

St. Clair Brooks Memorial Park is located at 80 Butler Road, Falmouth, Virginia 22405. The land for the park was donated by Stafford resident John Lee Pratt. Mr. Pratt asked that the park be given in St. Clair Brook’s name, a stonemason who was known as the honorary mayor of Falmouth. This beautiful park boasts 80 acres of wooded parkland and includes nature trails, a playground, two basketball courts, two diamond baseball fields, a pavilion available for rental, a skate park, an open grass area, and outdoor volleyball court. The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day.