NKU Center for Applied Ecology

In 2006, the NKU Center for Applied Ecology approached Cardinal for design and surveying assistance for the restoration of Joe’s Lake and Creek located in the City of Wilder, Kentucky.

Joe's Lake receives drainage from two streams: (1) An intermittent 2nd-order blue line stream from the north that includes a fishing lake located on the Southgate Community Park property (not included in the restoration plan) and (2) An ephemeral stream from the west is mostly on the subject property and is referred to as the “Upper Stream” (relative to Joe’s Lake). The Upper Stream was significantly modified as follows: A dry detention basin was constructed at the top of the stream to manage storm water from 9 acres of impervious surface at an apartment complex. Downstream of the storm water basin, the stream was rerouted through a storm culvert, approximately 300 feet through a soil-capped demolition debris landfill.

Restoration of the Upper Stream included mitigation of storm water discharges, daylighting of the 300’ culvert, and restoring naturalized stable channels. First, the outlet structure from the detention basin was modified to fully utilize the existing storage capacity of the basin and provide a first flush water quality feature. Below the storm water detention basin, the culvert reach was daylighted by creating a new channel over the top of the landfill. Since the existing soil cap was six feet thick, the channel depth did not exceed four feet, thus preserving the minimum required soil cap thickness of two feet. Below the landfill, the new channel was extended through the lower rubble land area at a uniform slope to discharge to a lowered lake elevation, and the ephemeral tributary was extended.

Dimensions of the restored Upper Stream were as follows:

Bottom width = 5 feet;
Bankfull depth (max) = 1 foot;
Lower bank slopes = 3:1; and
Bankfull width = 11 feet; and


In order to protect the steep channel from erosion and mimic the natural appearance of northern Kentucky streams, native flagstone (not riprap) was placed in the stream bottom and 18 inches up the banks. Fees: $28,800.00, Specific Role: Chief Civil engineer/Surveyor.