The Neal Street Ravine is a natural drainage way located on a bluff area here in Red Wing. The ravine collects storm runoff from a large area and drains into Hay Creek before reaching the Mississippi River. Hay Creek is a designated trout stream, which requires special protections to ensure superior water quality and habitat for this species. Trout need cold, clear water and lots of shade and food sources to thrive. The ravine has been eroding for a while now, and the erosion has increased significantly in the last few decades, due to increased residential development and the increased intensity and frequency of storm events. Sediment loads from the ravine erosion cloud the water and fill in deep pools, which degrades the habitat in the creek.
This restoration project was identified in the City’s Surface Water Management Plan and construction plans were accepted by the City Council on February 13, 2023. The project will include clearing of trees for access to the ravine, removing sediment from the lower portions of the ravine, hauling in fill to the upper eroded banks, and stabilization with rip-rap rocks along the banks and channel. The work is anticipated to begin in mid 2023 but is contingent upon receiving acceptable project bids and Council approval.