However, we can improve the quality of urban and suburban riparian habitats, and wetland mitigation projects and water runoff retention ponds are two such ways. Another is to re-engineer old channelized streams and slow them down to reduce siltation and improve water retention in the drainage area.
So, back to my original reason for this post. Late in the day, I walked over to Washtenaw County Farm Park, which is less than a half-mile from my house. I wanted to check out the Mallet's Creek Restoration and Wetland Project, which is managed by Washtenaw Co. Work started on this in fall 2011, and has continued into early in the summer. One of the objects was to change the waterflow of Mallet's Creek so that it no longer acts like a typical flash-flooding urban stream. The second was to reduce siltation, and slow the water that goes into the city stormwater drains from around County Farm Park (CFP). The one feature that has been lacking at CFP has been any sort of lentic wetland. This project created several swales and small ponds that are looking fairly good, even though we are going through a drought. CFP is now becoming a more diverse riparian environment, and my hope is to monitor the procession of Odonata that appear in the new habitat.
Last night, I encountered dozens of Eastern Forktails, one Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis, three Common Green Darners, and several Common Bluets (Enallagma civile). The darners were patrolling two deeper ponds, and often hovered right in front of me. I didn't have my DSLR with me for photography, but I did have my little pocket Sony camera, and took some photos. I am pretty ceratin that if I went there during midday, I would encounter the vagrant Pantalas and Trameas. I will return another time in early August and see what is flying. Next year, I expect to see a few more species at the new wetlands, and perhaps some stream species will take hold, too.