Gills Creek is significantly impaired, yet provides many recreational opportunities and hosts valuable wildlife habitat. Our current restoration efforts are focused on controlling stormwater and pollution in order to enhance recreational opportunities and preserve habitat. Monitoring the condition of the creek is essential to this effort. To become a volunteer stream monitor, see our Volunteer page.
Examples of current and recent projects include:
Crowson Road Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration: The GCWA received an EPA/DHEC 319 Grant for Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration for the creek along Crowson Road. Partners in the effort include the City of Columbia, which has provided significant match funding, and Richland County, which has contributed a Conservation Commission grant and arranged for federal Community Development Block Grant funding to contribute to the project. The restoration design work is nearly complete and we expect construction to begin this fall.
Decker Boulevard Litter Reduction: The Gills Creek Watershed Association has received two grants from Palmetto Pride to help reduce litter in the Watershed. Decker Boulevard was identified as a significant litter hot spot. With Richland County and The COMET, we have been able to reduce the litter problem in the Jackson Creek/Cary Lake area by placing trash cans at key locations near bus stops along Decker Boulevard. Signs in English and Spanish were posted next to the cans to encourage use.
Adopt A Highway and Other Clean Up Efforts: GCWA conducts a quarterly clean up of a stretch of South Beltline Boulevard which runs parallel to the creek. In addition, GCWA hosts and organizes a number of clean ups in various areas of the creek for school, work, and social groups.
Owens Field Trail Rehabilitation and Section 319 Source Reduction Project: GCWA coordinated planning and funding for an EPA/DHEC 319 Source Reduction Project at Owens Field. Two bioretention cells were constructed to capture and infiltrate stormwater before it enters Devil’s Ditch and Gills Creek. Several field visits were held to share lessons learned with local practitioners. This project was part of a larger effort to incorporate stormwater Best Management Practices into trails by the Richland County Conservation Commission, in conjunction with the Richland County Stormwater Division. The project ribbon cutting was held on July 15, 2017.
Watershed Planning: GCWA worked closely with Richland County and many other stakeholders to prepare a comprehensive watershed management plan to guide our actions as we work to restore the watershed. With assistance from the Richland County Conservation Commission, a more targeted plan was also developed for the Middle Watershed, which focuses on the Fort Jackson Boulevard to Devine St. area of the creek. The watershed management plan will be updated and refined on an on-going basis, with appropriate public input. Currently, a grant application is pending for assistance in the next iteration of the plan.
Devil's Ditch Project: This project is the result of a coordinated effort among Richland County Stormwater Management, City of Columbia and GCWA which began in 2010. The project is a maintenance project for the section of the Devils Ditch located between Live Oak Street and South Beltline Boulevard.
Projects which are complete, or have been shelved for one reason or another, are listed in the document below. If you need additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.