SPA CREEK CONSERVANCY
The Spa Creek Conservancy is an all-volunteer watershed organization committed to restoring Spa Creek through education, preservation, mitigation, and restoration. Our vision is to be a model organization for restoring and protecting an urban watershed.
The Conservancy has implemented projects at businesses, churches, schools, communities, street-end parks and in the Creek itself with more than $8 million in grants from federal, state, local and watershed funders.
Spa Creek’s headwaters extend from Chinquapin Round Road to the walking bridge from the Chesapeake Children’s Museum on Silopanna Road to the Spa Creek Trail behind Bates Middle School.
The $2.8 million we were awarded through the State’s Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund restored the headwaters to its historical floodplain state – changing the flow of the neighborhood and commercial stormwaters from their former direct chute system to a gentle undulating upland stream. More than 3,700 trees and shrubs were planted in the Creek's headwaters to provide habitat and recreate a wooded floodplain.
What’s happening now? The native shoreline grasses were planted in the former phragmites-choked upper reach of the Creek to provide habitat for more Creek critters, fish spawning areas and SAVs (submerged aquatic vegetation).
The $1.7 million Hawkins Cove ravine restoration was completed in 2018. This degraded ravine carried stormwater runoff from Eastport, Hilltop Road and the Primrose Road communities directly into Hawkins Cove, depositing so much silt and sediment that, even at high tide, only kayaks and paddleboards could travel into the Cove reaches. The restoration borders Annapolis Conservancy Trust land and Housing Authority of Annapolis land.
Our "after" tours of the headwaters continue to attract large crowds and more than 100 walkers joined us this winter to see the project up close.
The Conservancy has begun its third year of volunteer water quality testing under the supervision of Anne Arundel Community College and the results we post each week have brought renewed interest in the viability of Spa Creek’s health. Our goal is to have better water quality results after the headwaters work than before – a sure sign that our projects are doing their job. We are taking samples from 10 sites including several mid-Creek sites and you can see the results on waterreporter.com.