The Buck Creek Educational Corridor
The Buck Creek Educational Corridor is an instrumented five-mile reach of Buck Creek and its tributary Beaver Creek, developed in partnership with Eco-Sports Corridor, Friends of Buck Creek, Springfield Conservancy District, National Trail Parks and Recreation District, Fondriest Environmental, Inc. and NexSens Technology, Inc. The Buck Creek Educational Corridor is part of Wittenberg's Center for Civic and Urban Engagement and its Renewing the Core and the Creek initiative.
The objectives of the Buck Creek Educational Corridor are to:
- assess the environmental impact of in-stream and watershed changes on water quality over time;
- provide problem-based learning opportunities related to stream environments for area K-16 students; and
- provide current weather and water information to recreationists taking advantage of recreational amenities along the creek corridor.
Current instrumentation includes a weather station, a stream gaging station, and four water quality stations. The data are collected every 15 minutes and updated hourly. Instrumentation is maintained and calibrated monthly by Wittenberg Geology students and faculty. To access current or past data, click on the Stream and Weather Data link below.
- Access Stream and Weather Data
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Release from C.J. Brown Reservoir
- Discharge Calculator
Helpful Information Links
Buck Creek Educational Corridor Fact Sheets (FS):
The stage-discharge rating curve is being re-calibrated as a result of the impact that the modification of the Snyder Park lowhead dam had on the water profile. This calculator provides an approximation of the discharge based on stage from the Plum Street Gage. To calculate discharge, scroll down to "Plum Street Gauge" in the databox above.
Student work on Buck Creek is supported by two internships from the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement (CCUE) and summer research grants from Wittenberg's Student Development Fund and the Geology Department's Floyd B. Nave Endowment.
Kelly Shaw '11, a major in geology and minor in political science, is collecting baseline data on water qualityat each of the dam sites in order to augment the data being logged continuously along the project reach. The parameters she is measuring include nitrates, phosphates, chlorides, and hardness. Kelly is using a Hach DREL/2010 Advanced Water Quality Laboratory and the DR/2010 Spectrophotometer for her analyses.
Chad Rigsby '11, a major in biology, is studying stream macroinvertebrates upstream and downstream of each of the dam sites. The objectives of his work is to understand the impact of the lowhead dams on the macroinvertebrate community. For each lowhead dam, he is sampling the pooled area immediately upstream of the dam, an area further upstream that is unimpacted by the dam, characterized as the first riffle environment immediately upstream of the pooled area, and the downstream recovery riffle. He is using OEPA standard operating procedures for qualitative sampling and analysis of aquatic organisms which will make data comparable to other streams in Ohio. Chad's data will form a baseline dataset characterizing the condition of Beaver Creek and Buck Creek prior to lowhead dam modification or removal.
Daniel Brennan '10, with support from a Student Development Board Summer Research Grant, is installing a gaging station on Beaver Creek, just upstream of its confluence with Buck Creek. He will develop a stage-discharge rating curve for Beaver Creek in order for us to determine relative contributions to downstream flow from USACE releases from C.J. Brown Reservoir and Beaver Creek.
Aaron Evelsizor '11, with support from the Floyd R. Nave Endowment Award, is refining the QHEI determinations and doing detailed clast counts at each of the dam sites. He is positioning his analyses relative to the engineered plans in order to provide pre-modification baseline data on the physical habitat and channel bed properties for comparison to post-modification conditions.
Fondriest Environmental, Inc. and NexSens Technology, Inc. have been instrumental in making this project work. The folks at Fondriest Environmental designed, created, and deployed the instrumentation on Buck Creek. In addition to their on-going technical support, NexSens Technology designed the communication equipment and hosts the website that serves data from the Buck Creek instrument to the public. They have created several documents describing the instrumentation and types of deployment on Buck Creek, most recently an article in the July/August 2011 edition of Stormwater.
July/August 2011 Stormwater (scroll to page 48 to view the article)