Hillside Heights Pond

The Hillside Heights pond is located near the corner of Kathleen Street and Irish Lane in Fitchburg. In 2017, City Council authorized funding to complete the design and construct measures to reduce the flooding frequency of the Hillside Heights neighborhood pond. The City secured R.A. Smith to assist with alternative analysis, public outreach, and design. The project team conducted two public meetings to keep residents informed on project progress and to gather feedback. The project team also met with Parks Commission to get their permission to construct the stormwater mitigation measure. Recordings of the meetings are available at the locations below:

Based on review of the available options, neighborhood residents preferred the option of constructing a new pond located immediately to the north of the original pond. This option was selected with the approval of Parks Commission, and subsequently design by R.A. Smith.

The pond construction project was advertised by legal notice in the Wisconsin State Journal and posted on www.demandstar.com in April 2019. The project was awarded to Speedway Sand and Gravel Inc. and their subcontractor Field and Stream Resorations in June. Pond construction began in early September 2019 and restoration began in mid September. A photography from mid-September 2019 is shown below (photo courtesy Field and Stream Restorations). 

Hillside Heights Photo

The upland zone was fine graded, seeded with a native seed mix (Tall Grass Prairie by Agrecol), and blanketed with erosion control fabric. Native plugs were installed in the wet fringe zone, along with goose protection. Goose protection consists of posts with string between them to deter geese from landing near the water and eating the young plugs. The plug species installed are listed below:

  • Scirpus validus (Soft-stem Bulrush)
  • Scirpus cyperinus (Wool grass)
  • Scirpus acutus (Hard-stem Bulrush)
  • Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)
  • Sparganium eurycarpum (Giant Bur-Reed)

The areas outside of the wet fringe zone and upland zone will be seeded with turf grass.

It may be necessary to pump water from the new pond into the original, larger pond while vegetation is being established. This allows the plants to grow and minimizes the chances of them drowning while they are still young and most susceptible to failure. Vegetation is an important long-term component of this water feature because it will move water out of the kettle via transpiration. Please note that both ponds will fill with water before any homes are impacted by high water, so pumping water from the small pond into the larger pond will not reduce the flood protection capacity offered by the two ponds.

For additional questions on this project, please reach out to the Environmental Engineer, Ben Schulte, at ben.schulte@fitchburgwi.gov