Comprehensive Planning to Promote Climate Resiliency Through Natural Infrastructure
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) is seeking a contractor to access and plan priority restoration projects on its nature preserves. The outcome of this effort will also inform OWLT’s approach to future conservation projects by identifying and prioritizing the most resilient lands in our mission area. Our strategic approach to land and water protection focuses on preserving and restoring biodiversity. Through conserving lands containing a diversity of natural features, we maintain the infrastructure necessary for maintaining the biodiversity and resiliency of our aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Our protected lands also include agricultural holdings and improving farming practices on those lands is an important long-term restoration strategy.
By assessing the natural infrastructure assets we own and manage, and by providing additional direction in assessing our future restoration and acquisition priorities, we will enhance the implementation and effectiveness of our stewardship efforts and be strategically positioned to leverage additional funding for climate resiliency strategies from regional and national funders.
The contractor’s proposal will include a scope of services to provide, at a minimum, the following deliverables:
- Identify site specific restoration or enhancement opportunities on OWLT preserves for existing natural infrastructure considering, for example, soil health, riparian corridors, wetlands, forests, topographic features and surface water and groundwater features.
- Detailed outlines of restoration/enhancement projects that will strengthen natural infrastructure and improve habitat, to better equip OWLT to respond to time sensitive grant opportunities.
- Incorporate into the planning process regional priority concerns such as carbon sequestration, invasive species, wildlife corridors, biodiversity, water quality and quantity, flood control, and farming practices.
- Provide examples of how this assessment and its results can be used in public facing promotional materials for membership communications, and current and prospective funders.
- Demonstrate their firms’ ability to leverage additional grant funds to this project or future applications of this project, or other creative ways to partner with OWLT.
The contractor will work closely with a select group of OWLT staff and advisors, who will provide feedback and direction throughout this planning process. The contractor’s firm will be expected to provide expertise in related fields in support of this planning process, including engineering, landscape architecture, and land use planning.
Instructions and Timeline
The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust expects to complete its review of contractor proposals and award a contract in the first quarter of 2020, and any award will be subject to the availability of funds to complete this project.
The deadline for interested firms to submit a proposal is Tuesday October 22, 2019.
Representatives from selected consulting firms will be invited to meet with OWLT staff to discuss project expectations and goals and further refine the scope of project proposals.
We expect to receive proposals in the range of $25,000-$40,000. OWLT will determine the most responsive and responsible bidder(s) who provides the best value (not necessarily the lowest bidder). Project award is at the discretion of OWLT and will be based on contractor’s pricing, experience with similar work, capacity to successfully perform the scope of work within the performance period, and their ability to leverage additional grant funding to this project or future applications of this project. OWLT reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids in the best interest of the project.
See the accompanying document “Recent examples of OWLT Enhancement/Restoration of Natural Infrastructure” as an illustration of OWLT existing capacities. Recommendations from prospective firms do not need to be constrained to these conservation measures, rather these are mean to demonstrate recent successful projects by OWLT staff and contracted firms.
Recent examples of OWLT Enhancement/Restoration of Natural Infrastructure
OWLT restored or enhanced 151 acres of wetland habitat across six different fee-owned lands along the Lake Michigan flyway and Milwaukee River corridor under a Joint Venture Grant. Work completed includes the disabling of 1,800 feet of drain tile, stream channel remeandering, wetland scrapes, invasive control, wetland plantings, and tree plantings.
The Mayhew Preserve project transitioned active agricultural fields into perennial native cover. Through the process, over 600 feet of drain tiles were broken and it is estimated at least an additional 500 feet were disabled up slope. Two new wetlands were restored and a straight-line agriculture ditch was lengthened and re-shaped to address erosion issues, keep water on site longer, and slow storm water flows. The new waterway starts with a small scrape within the existing ditch to provide a place for sediment to drop out and allow water to slow and change direction.
The Spirit Lake Preserve project disabled over 700 feet of drain tiles. A two-acre scrape was created by removing up to 30 inches of overburden. The scrape is irregular in shape and provides diverse depth throughout. There was clear evidence of this affect immediately after the first rain event where at least five Killdeer were present foraging in the exposed mud flat areas.
The South Oak Preserve project created two wetland scrapes and a new waterway was constructed. A straight-line agriculture ditch was lengthened and re-shaped to keep water on site longer, reduce high flows during storm events, and provide a source for one of the new scrapes. The new waterway starts with an armored exit of two culvert pipes at South Oak Road. The 12-24 inch rock provides soil stability, slows velocity, and the opportunity for water to turn out of the existing ditch into the new waterway. Positive impacts were evident immediately following the first large rain event. OWLT staff witnessed several fish in the waterway all the way up to the culverts, many frogs present in the scrape, and a kingfisher diving for fish.