Munson Health
Kid's Creek Restoration

Giving New Life to Kid's Creek

In 2008, Munson Medical Center partnered with The Watershed Center and the Grand Traverse Conservation District to restore Kid's Creek bordering the hospital’s main parking lot. With funding from the Edmund & Virginia Ball Foundation, the Beers Family Foundation, and volunteer labor including Master Gardeners, the Kid's Creek Healing Garden is a good example of an urban stream buffer and now protects the creek and provides a pleasant place for staff, patients, and visitors. The project was featured at the Michigan Green Healthcare Conference last fall, and has received praise from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


   Phase 1 Project Rendering Phase 1 Project Completion

Urban Restoration Project Continues

Building on the success of the Kid's Creek restoration project at Sixth and Elmwood streets, attention is now focused on restoring an even more challenging section of the creek north of Sixth Street. Munson Medical Center’s updated Master Facility Plan, in keeping with City of Traverse City zoning, calls for future growth to occur north of the main campus on property the hospital acquired last year. A key preliminary step to any future new construction will be returning the creek to a more natural state, which will result in ecological benefits such as improved fish passage and enhanced wildlife and aquatic habitat. With funding from Consumers Energy Foundation, EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Program, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, and Rotary Charities of Traverse City, this project is part of a larger effort being coordinated by The Watershed Center and Grand Traverse Conservation District to remove Kid's Creek from the Michigan DEQ’s "Impaired Waters” list.


“We engaged stream restoration experts with input from the DNR Fisheries staff, to design a plan to ‘daylight’ the creek, which, over time, had been constrained to culverts, underground pipes, and channelized ditches. As good stewards, we want the portion of creek that extends through our campus to be healthy.” 

Steve Tongue, VP Facilities & Plant Engineering

   Phase 2 Project Rendering  

Newly created green space will soften the edges of the medical campus and provide a natural buffer to the surrounding neighborhood. Native plantings in the buffer zone will mimic a natural flood plain, provide an overflow for excess flood waters, and further reduce erosion and potential pollution to the creek. A more natural meandering path will add nearly 300 feet to the existing channel and allow for habitat features such as woody cover required for young trout to move upstream. Total cost of the project is estimated at $3 million. The creek release is scheduled for this fall. 

View a brief video summary and read letters of support for the next phase of creek restoration by clicking the links below. 

The Watershed Center                                 Grand Traverse Conservation District

For information on this project, read the Kid's Creek Restoration Q&A or view our Community Update presentation.

To learn how you can support this or other Munson Healthcare projects, call the Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation at (231) 935-6482.