The Reedy is much more than just a scenic downtown river. It’s an economic and social resource for the community that stretches from the mountains all the way to Lake Greenwood. Along the banks, several species of plants and animals can be found that depend on the Reedy for sustainable life. Wildflowers like the Jack-in-the-Pulpit and the endangered Bunched Arrowhead live here. And animal species like Wood Ducks, River Otters, Great Blue Herons and Indigo Buntings find refuge in it as well. Friends of the Reedy River works to protect the quality of life of the plants and animals in its delicate ecosystem. And to ensure its economic and social benefits continue to impact our community positively.
The Long Branch area of the Reedy River, before and after restoration. Long Branch is an example of stream bank restoration. The project has been underway since 2002. Trees planted along the creek are already providing shade to the water and providing habitat to fish and other wildlife.
Why do we need to worry about the Reedy River?
Jeff Beacham of Greenfields Consortium: “The Reedy River in Greenville is similar to other rivers in urban settings, characterized by impaired water quality, eroded banks, and compromised riparian [riverside] conditions. Urbanization has resulted in significant runoff from the impervious [non-porous] surfaces of roads, buildings, and parking lots. The historic riparian forest along the Reedy River has been converted to commercial, institutional and residential developments consisting of paved areas, lawns, and clearings, with the exception of relatively small vegetated areas and greenways along some sections of the river. These ecological changes have contributed to the degradation of the health and condition of the river and its riparian environment. Water quality is impaired by pollutants that are rapidly transported with runoff to the river; channel stability is adversely affected by the increase in runoff flow and energy that has caused significant channel erosion and scouring. In areas of the city where a vegetated zone buffers the river, exotic invasive species have become dominant, overgrowing native vegetation and resulting in conditions with poor quality wildlife habitat and diminished recreational and aesthetic values for parkland and greenway amenities.“