Hendrix Creek Preserve
What is the Hendrix Creek Preserve?
The restoration of the Hendrix Creek Preserve (HCP) has created an 18-acre multifunctional environment in the form of a conservation easement. The primary purpose of the HCP is to provide storm water management to prevent flooding within a 500-acre watershed area within the City of Conway. Through selective plantings and controlled stream flows, water leaves the environment cleaner than when it enters. The Watershed also collects and retains storm events to recharge the local aquifers.
In addition, the HCP redirects and improves a pre-existing overburdened stream to create a natural public recreation area that is a cornerstone to The Village at Hendrix's sustainable community development. The series of trails and boardwalks that wind through the HCP provide a tranquil place for public recreation. The constructed wetlands in the Watershed promote nesting places for migratory birds and waterfowl. Additionally, the improved habitat functions as an outdoor classroom to encourage the study of the natural systems inherent in the HCP.
Why did we restore the creek?
Prior to restoration, the creek was polluted, dysfunctional, and unable to accommodate the growing needs of Conway and The Village. While most water management issues are resolved by installing drain pipes in city streets, The Village wanted to create a natural, educational, and practical solution. By integrating the HCP into The Village it now provides an opportunity to create a learning laboratory and an opportunity to be a national leader in outdoor creek reclamation. We welcome residents and visitors alike to enjoy the park-like area.
Who is involved?
The HCP is a collaborative project involving the leadership of The Village at Hendrix, Southwestern Energy, environmental studies and biology faculty, environmental engineers, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
How does this benefit the environment?
The HCP essentially creates a natural environment machine to deal with rainwater collection, cleansing, purification, and distribution. The Army Corps of Engineers, the body to which the HCP is held accountable, permits only native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species that are adapted to the existing climate and purchased within the same geographic region to be planted. Additionally, turtles and fish now inhabit the creek, and the new wetlands serve as migratory resting points for waterfowl. The maintenance plan includes non-native species removal.
Hendrix College has been selected to receive $122,640 in federal grant money toward completing a walking trail at the Hendrix Creek Preserve.