West Bloomfield Township is working on an updated plan to kill off existing vegetation and put in new plant material along the Jamian Drain corridor within the Pebble Creek Condominium Association.
Marshall Labadie, the township’s development services director, said the plan is meant to address the proliferation of noxious and invasive plant material throughout the Jamian Drain corridor.
He said the project will begin with a test run next spring in a pilot area of the corridor that will measure 275 linear feet, extending from a point near one of the condominium’s bridges and out about 100 feet in each direction.
“We’re going to kill all the plant material with an aquatic-safe herbicide, we’re going to apply a weed-control barrier and then using plugs rather than seed mix,” Labadie said. “We’re going to plant in very specific plants of a lesser diversity and then let those grow in. We’re then going to put in a formalized flowering border on each edge so it’s more of a park-like setting rather than a very wild and unkept corridor look.”
Labadie said that a walk-through of the pilot area would then be conducted with members of the township board, wetland review board and the Pebble Creek Condominium Association to receive their opinions.
Then, barring any major setbacks, Labadie said that over the following two years, new plant material would be placed in the entire corridor.
The project is meant to address issues that arose from a 2005 project in the corridor that involved planting the corridor with native plant materials such as dogwoods and willows in order to reduce flooding and stream bank erosion.
“The unfortunate thing after its completion we found that the seed mix that was applied, we just couldn’t keep control over and then we had the proliferation of the noxious and invasive plants,” Labadie said. “We’ve tried every method of traditional control through spraying, mowing, hand-wicking, and it didn’t work.”
He said residents came to the township for help and that he worked with the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and the Pebble Creek Homeowners Association to develop a plan, which they have worked on for the last six months.