McCoys Creek Branches


The McCoys Creek Branches form the western headwaters of the creek through the Lackawanna neighborhood and drain a 3.74 square mile watershed. The Branches restoration project will restore the natural function of 4,752 linear feet of McCoys Creek headwaters including 14.93 acres of stream and wetlands and 3.9 acres of open space for future recreational use.

The plan is to create a natural meander within a more deeply excavated and fully vegetated wetland floodplain. This will improve habitat, food capacity, and water quality that ultimately will improve conditions in the creekā€™s main stem that flows to the St. Johns River.

Dr. John Kiefer, the projectā€™s lead design engineer, estimates the Branches restoration will remove 780 pounds of nitrogen every year, creating a much cleaner and balanced delivery of fresh water to the rest of the system. Restoring the upstream freshwater portion of the creek is also beneficial for estuarine fish and will help generate the food base for forage fish that will then be prey for species in the area. It also may serve as nursery habitat for some important species.

Like McCoys Creek Phases 1 and 2, the Branches project is being implemented in partnership with the City of Jacksonville (COJ). Groundwork is leading design, community engagement and outreach efforts.

The project was designed by environmental engineering specialist, WSP in collaboration with SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design practice. The design was wholly funded by Groundwork Jacksonville through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and private donations.

Construction will begin in 2024 at an estimated cost of $10.3 Million. Construction is being funded by a $5.18 Million construction grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Florida Resilient Coastlines Program, a $2.8 Million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grant, and the remaining, roughly 25 percent, from the City of Jacksonville.

Confluence Park: Before

Click image to enlarge.

Confluence Park: After

Click image to enlarge.

Hollybrook Park: Before

Click image to enlarge.

Hollybrook Park: After

Click image to enlarge.