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ASK THE COURIER-HERALD: What are they building near Fennel Creek on the Kelley Farm property?
Q. What are they building near Fennel Creek on the Kelley Farm property?
A. The construction work being done along Fennel Creek on the north side of Old Buckley Highway is a wetlands mitigation project that is part of the Washington State Department of Transportation's state Route 410 and 233rd/234th Avenues intersection project.
According to Biology Program Manager Carl Ward, the work on SR410 impacted six freshwater wetland areas. Ward characterized the impacts as "relatively minor."
To mitigate the work being done on 410, the state searched 85 surrounding parcels before settling on the Fennel Creek site.
"All our impacts are in the Fennel Creek watershed," he said.
To mitigate the project, the state purchased 20.17 acres along the creek and is creating .23 acres of flood storage creation areas, as well as enhancements to the banks of the stream and the addition of plants and habitat for wildlife.
"We didn't build a wetland to replace a wetland," Ward said.
In total, WSDOT is planting 40,105 woody (shade) plants to the area and an additional 38,080 emergent plants to provide a "variety of habitats."
In addition, 10 pieces of instream large, woody material will be added next summer and 30 brush piles, seven perch poles and three bat houses are being placed on the property.
WSDOT will actively maintain the property for 10 years and then manage it on a less intensive basis after that.
If you have a question about anything around town, send it to the reporters at the Bonney Lake and Sumner Courier-Herald and we'll see if we can find you an answer. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 253-825-2555.