Update on Restoration Work at Former Tannery

Over the past two months, Wolverine Worldwide has been performing restoration work at the site of its former Tannery in Rockford. This has included placing and grading clean topsoil, replanting the banks of the Rogue River with native grasses and flowers, repaving the White Pine Trail, and installing erosion controls. Several photographs of the recent work are included at the end of this post.

For complete details on the grasses and wildflowers we recently planted, and the shrubs and trees we plan to plant this fall, please click here for the approved restoration plans. In addition, we wanted to share some statistics and insights gathered by the experienced landscape architects and wetlands scientists who helped us develop and implement the plans:

Statistics

  • Repaved approximately 1,800 linear feet of the White Pine Trail with new asphalt
  • Imported and spread approximately 2,800 cubic yards of clean topsoil
  • Planted over 750 pounds of grass and wildflower seed
  • Planted 9,100 native grass and flower seedlings along the banks of the Rogue River
  • Planning to plant over 50 trees this fall

Insights

  • All the new plants along the riverbank are native to this area and will create significant wildlife pollinator habitats.
  • All the new plants along the banks of the riverbank are pollinated by some type of insect, not by wind deposition. This helps reduce hay fever, asthma, and itchy eyes.
  • 33 different species of native plants were planted along the riverbank, split into several planting zones based on proximity to the river.
  • Native plants spend their lives growing roots, which can reach anywhere from 5 to 20 feet deep.  Each plant has a different root architecture so that they do not compete for moisture and nutrients.
  • In time, the plants along the riverbank will together create over one million miles worth of roots.

These restoration activities are part of the remediation agreed upon by Wolverine and the EPA, and follow the excavation work Wolverine completed this year.  We are committed to keeping the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public. As always, residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.

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White Pine Trail to Reopen on May 22

Wolverine is pleased to announce that the portion of the White Pine Trail running through its former tannery site in Rockford will reopen tomorrow, May 22, around 12:00 p.m.

Over the past week we removed crushed stone haul roads, installed additional erosion controls, and performed final grading and hydroseeding. This site restoration work is described here, and followed the excavation work described in more detail here. For current photos of the site, please see the end of this blog post.

We anticipate needing to close and re-route the White Pine Trail two more times this year for short periods. This first will be in early June, to supplement the seeding along the riverbank with cuttings and plugs of similar native grasses and wildflowers. The second will be this fall, to plant trees along the riverbank and trail. For complete details on the grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees being planted on the site, please click here for the approved plans, the key sections of which are also at the bottom of this blog post.

We are committed to keeping the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public. As always, residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.

 

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Tannery Restoration North Side

Tannery Restoration North Side

 

Tannery Restoration South Side

Tannery Restoration South Side

Update on Restoration Work at Former Tannery; White Pine Trail to Reopen

Earlier this year, Wolverine completed excavation work at its former Tannery site in Rockford, and over the last several weeks we have been performing site restoration work. This has included placing and grading clean topsoil, re-seeding the banks of the Rogue River with native grasses and flowers, installing erosion control devices, and repaving the White Pine Trail (see pictures below). These activities are part of the remediation agreed upon by Wolverine and the EPA, and needed to protect Rogue River water quality and prevent possible shoreline erosion.

Wolverine is pleased to announce that this restoration work is nearing completion, and we anticipate reopening the White Pine Trail through the site by Friday, May 22. Between now and then, we will be completing additional erosion controls, performing final grading, and hydroseeding the area west of the trail. We will also be removing the crushed stone that was brought onto the site last year to construct access roads for the excavation work. This stone will be transported by truck to Wolverine’s House Street property over the next few days, where it will be staged for use in future construction projects like Plainfield Township’s municipal water extension.

We anticipate needing to close and re-route the White Pine Trail two more times this year for short periods. This first will be in late May or early June, when we anticipate supplementing the seeding along the riverbank with cuttings and plugs of similar native species. The second will be this fall, when we will be planting trees along the riverbank and trail.

We are committed to limiting the impact of these restoration activities on neighboring residents, surrounding businesses, and the community as a whole, and will continue to keep the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public.

As always, residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.

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WOLVERINE TO CONDUCT LIMITED RESTORATION WORK AT FORMER TANNERY

Last month, Wolverine completed the excavation work it began last fall at the site of its former Tannery in Rockford.  As described here, this work included the removal of several areas of sediments, soils, leather scraps, and hides from the Tannery site, the adjacent White Pine Trail, and the banks of the Rogue River.  We ended up excavating approximately 23,000 tons of material (around 11,600 cubic yards) from the site, sending 835 truckloads to an approved off-site landfill.

Beginning the week of April 20, Wolverine’s EPA-approved environmental contractor will return to perform necessary site restoration work under EPA oversight.  This includes placing clean topsoil, grading the site to promote proper drainage, seeding the site and the banks of the Rogue River with native grasses, installing erosion control devices, and repaving the White Pine Trail.  These activities are part of the remediation agreed upon by Wolverine and the EPA, and are needed to protect Rogue River water quality and prevent possible shoreline erosion.

This work is expected to take three to four weeks, and the White Pine Trail will be closed and re-routed for a portion of this time.  While this work is taking place, all workers will use appropriate safety protocols to address COVID-19 risk and comply with Governor Whitmer’s executive order, which authorizes environmental response work like this to proceed with these safeguards in place.

Sometime later this year, we anticipate supplementing the seeding taking place over the next three to four weeks with cuttings and plugs of similar native species.  The mix type will include grasses such as little bluestem and flowering species such as New England aster and black-eyed Susan, along with a variety of trees.  The deep root systems of these types of native plants have the ability to provide protection from erosion and can reduce water run-off.  In addition, native plants do not require the use of fertilizers and provide habitat and food for wildlife.

We are committed to limiting the impact of these restoration activities on neighboring residents, surrounding businesses, and the community as a whole, and will continue to keep the community informed through regular updates on this blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and through information posted at kiosks and in other locations accessible to the public.

As always, residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at HouseStreet@wwwinc.com or (616) 866-5627.