Building With Beavers –
Bynum Run Watershed

– PROJECT –

Project Description

Rising water in the Bynum Run Watershed was threatening a stretch of the popular MA & PA Heritage Trail. Harford County Parks & Recreation attributed the problem in part to two beaver dams in the area and decided to contact Ecotone.

Eventually, the beaver dams would cause the trail to flood, drowning the trees and vegetation in the area. To stop the flooding and potential damage, Harford County Parks & Rec partnered with Ecotone once again to install a Beaver Flow Device.

Beaver flow devices are a simple, economical, ingenious, eco-friendly innovation. A pipe is manually installed at the top end of a pond and through the offending beaver dam to drain water back into the stream or creek below the dam. Since beavers, by their persistent, engineering-minded nature, will attempt to stop the water flow through the dam, Ecotone installs a submerged cage that encases the upper portion of the pipe. The low-tech nature of this project equates to minimal maintenance and environmental impact.  

Ecotone installed the county’s first beaver flow device at Robert Copenhaver Park on the smaller of the two problematic dams in 2021. “It significantly improved the situation in the area behind the dam at that site,” said Paul Magness, Deputy Director of Harford County Parks & Recreation. “The county thinks beaver flow devices are an effective alternative to removing beaver dams,” stated Paul.

Before reaching out to Ecotone, the county would remove dams where possible. “This approach supplied some relief, but eventually, the beavers would return and rebuild their dams,” said Paul.

“Our philosophy is to allow nature to restore nature,” said Ecotone’s owner Scott McGill. “We set the table and let nature take it from there.”

It appears that is happening in Harford County. A win-win for the community and Mother Earth. 

Highlights

  • Habitats for many sensitive plant and animal species
  • After a roughly two-hour installation process, the device starts to work immediately and will remain in place indefinitely or until the beaver moves
  • The low-tech nature of this project equates to minimal maintenance and environmental impact

– PROJECT PHOTOS –

– PROJECT DETAILS –

LOCATION
MA & PA Heritage Trail

CLIENT
Harford County Parks & Recreation

WATERSHED
Bynum Run Watershed

SERVICES USED
Coexisting with Beavers

– PROJECT VIDEOS –

Footage of Beaver Flow Device Installation

– RELATED PROJECTS –

Long Green Creek Beaver Management
View Project

“It significantly improved the situation in the area behind the dam at that site. The county thinks beaver flow devices are an effective alternative to removing beaver dams.”

-Paul Magness, Deputy Director of Harford County Parks & Recreation

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