Nearly 100 acres at the Mill Creek Corporate Center have been dedicated to establish over 42 acres of wetlands. The established wetlands, and future wetlands, will be carefully nurtured by the City of Salem. The new wetlands will offset the impact on existing wetlands caused by the development of the corporate center.
Initial wetland efforts were completed in the fall and winter of 2012-2013 in parcels referred to as the Central Compensatory Wetland Mitigation project. Efforts in the Southern Compensatory Wetland Mitigation project began in mid-2019.
The wetlands exist on land that in the past was drained artificially to create agricultural land. The drier resulting land was more vulnerable to invasion by nonnative species. Returning wetlands will make the site less hospitable to invasive species and more so to native species.
The main goal of both mitigation areas is to create, restore, and enhance wetlands by converting mostly agricultural lands to a mosaic of diverse wetland communities dominated by native species. The increasingly diverse wetland complex provides, and will continue to provide, habitat for wildlife. A second key goal of the wetlands is to provide treatment of stormwater runoff.
While preparation activities in the Southern project began in 2019, planting will take place over 2020 and 2021. Eventually, the two wetland areas will replace wetland functions and values lost through ongoing and future development of about 515 acres of industrial land.