Hudsonia Lake Dam, Three Years Later
The dam at Lake Hudsonia is down, and once again Hibernia Brook flows freely through an emerging wetland forest. Here’s what it looked like on a recent October morning.
There are lots of reasons why dam removal is a good thing for the health of a river, its downstream and upstream ecosystems, and its response to heavy rain events.
But then there are the aesthetics. I went back to what had once been Lake Hudsonia — now frisky Hibernia Brook — one recent October morning, and the sun had just come up over the trees. I was photographing the impoundment area, sitting next to the edge of the water, and listening to the sound of the brook tripping over rocks and stones and a soft breeze in the cattails.
This was a far cry from the stillness of the lake three years ago, frozen semi-solid in December.
The dam was removed in 2021, and by now the seed stock, once dormant under the lake’s floor, has emerged. I could see cattails, goldenrod, milkweed, asters in bloom, and (the usual) mugwort.
As part of the floodplain restoration, native trees and shrubs — oak, serviceberry, willow, redbud — were planted, taking their place under the surrounding wetland forest.
I love seeing dams come down. I love the design process, the construction and the planning that goes into these projects. But I especially love returning to a dam site 2, 4, 5 years after a dam is removed to see what has emerged, and photographing the results.
Dam removal projects are a favorite, and a specialty. We offer the quickest turnaround on photo and video submissions, contract paperwork and insurance documents. We’d love to work on your next dam removal contract. -Suzanne
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