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Ailey Young Park Dam Removal and Stream Restoration

Ailey Young Park

As part of an on-call contract with the Town of Wake Forest, Kimley-Horn led design, engineering, permitting, and construction observation services for the project.

Project Background

In recent years, the Peggy’s Pond dam outlet, located at the end of Ailey Young Park, has experienced a lack of upkeep and attention resulting in major erosion, a reduction of water levels, and negative effects on aquatic life.  The dam of the pond was partially breached, the downstream channel was incised, and the banks were eroded for approximately 200 linear feet. A sewer line runs parallel to the stream and was nearly exposed near the pond dam due to erosion. During inventory and assessment of their dams, the Town of Wake Forest identified a stream (known as the Unnamed Tributary to Dunn Creek) on the west side of Ailey Young Park that runs south into a small pond that needed to be restored.

Dam Removal and Stream Restoration

The goals of the Ailey Young Park dam and stream restoration included:

  • Improve visual and functional connections along the stream corridor
  • Partially remove the existing dam
  • Convert the existing pond into floodplain wetlands
  • Protect the surrounding environment
  • Improve the stream’s hydraulic and geomorphic functions that could help support improved water quality and habitat functions and values

Achieving these goals required restoring approximately 500 feet of stream within the existing pond and dam footprint, and creating a small floodplain wetland within the footprint of the former pond. Kimley-Horn conducted wetland, stream, and riparian buffer delineations, field verification meetings, and stream restoration design services. Our team of engineers worked closely with contractors and the Town of Wake Forest to reshape channels, build grade control structures, create bank stabilization, and plant native vegetation. Approximately 340 linear feet of stream and 0.4 acres of wetland were restored.

Ailey Young Park Bench Area

Ailey Young Park now includes an observation deck that connects to the future Dunn Creek Greenway—providing educational opportunities and access to the developing wetland and stream restoration project. The proposed greenway will run from upstream of the project area at East Juniper Avenue and downstream along the sewer easement to Dunn Creek.

Project Recognition

  • 2020 Stormwater Project of the Year; APWA-NC