I put together a little video from last year’s hike of Restoration Systems’ Bear Creek Mitigation Bank. John Preyer, George Howard (yt) and Adam Riggsbee of RS are hiking the site with Wes Newell and Adam McIntyre from our consultant and contractor, Backwater Environmental. Bear Creek was restored in 2001 by backfilling large drainage canals and removing artificial agricultural levees that impeded natural floods. As the water returned that winter, RS planted nearly 80,000 trees of 20 native wetland species. Since then, several hundred acres of old growth wetland preservation have been added at locations in Lenoir and Craven County. All told, the bank, and the adjacent Sleepy Creek Mitigation Site, encompasses over 1000 acres at six locations of both restored and natural bottomland hardwoods along the Neuse River. Keep in mind: All the property you see was a bone dry fertilized corn field less than a decade ago.