Banner Marsh

Banner Marsh is an Illinois Department of Natural Resources state fish and wildlife area south of Pekin, Illinois. The property was once a strip mine. This is a pilot project to help determine the feasibility of using soil dredged while restoring depth to backwater lakes at sites in need of good topsoil.

The pilot project was funded by a donation from ARTCO Fleeting and a grant from the office of Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.

July 15, 2004. Banner Marsh.

IDNR site managers discuss site preparation and dredged material placement with the contractor. The placement field has poor soil that is filled with rocks and overburden from strip mining. It was covered with alfalfa that was disked prior to project initiation so that the sediment would be in direct contact with the original base material. The nearby pond supports lily pads and other aquatic plants.

four people standing in a field having a discussion view of grassy field view of marsh with lily pads and some flowering lily pads

July 16, 2004. East Peoria.

A hydraulic clamshell bucket on an excavator arm removes soil from Lower Peoria Lake near Spindler Marina. It is able to pick up the mud with little free water.

excavator clamshell  bucket on barge getting ready to remove sediment from the IL river close up of clamshell bucket unloading river sediments into barge clamshell bucket unloading river sediments into barge

July 22, 2004. Banner Marsh.

The barge was unloaded at the CF Industries dock near Kingstom mines about 18 river miles from Spindler marina. Heinz Bros. Trucking supplied a fleet of eight trucks to haul the mud five miles along route 24 from the unloading dock to the field. IDNR site managers prepared plywood boxes to hold the mud at four and two foot depths for monitoring drying and the development of soil structure.

wet river sediments in barge clamshell bucket unloading wet sediments into a dump truck dump truck unloading sediments on to field
backside view of dump truck unloading sediments onto the field view of three dump trucks on field IDNR working on experiment boxes
tractor with a front loader carrying wet semiments over to to the wooden experiment boxes front loader trackor dumping wet sediments into the wooden experiment boxes IDNR researcher spredding wet river sediments evently in the wooden experiment box

July 23, 2004. Banner Marsh.

A barge loaded several weeks earlier sported a healthy growth of weeds and tree seedlings. Samples were taken and a press conference was held that afternoon. IDNR director Joel Brunsvold officiated.

clamshell bucket picking up sediments out of barge full clamshell bucket hung from a crane moving to the dump truck dump trucks spreading mud from the river on dry land
far away view for field that will be covered with wet river sediments piles of mud on the dried grass field researcher taking a sample of the wet river sediments that were spread on the field
John Marlin and IDNR officials discussing progress IDNR officials discussing behind dump truck emptying sediments IDNR officials watching the spredding of the river sediments (not shown in picture)
two IDNR officials discussing

August 17, 2004. Banner Marsh.

Dr. Robert Darmody, a University of Illinois soil scientist, visited the site to install sensors in the plywood boxes. The sensors measure soil temperature and moisture content at various depths in the sediment several times a day. They also record air temperature and rainfall. The data will be combined with other observations as the mud develops soil structure. The information will be valuable for future large-scale projects.

The first six inches of the mud piles had dried and the cracks had sharply defined edges. The mud was still soft at a depth of 6 to 8 inches. It had rained little since placement.

Darmody taking soil temperature and moisture measurments Darmody holding up his right hand which is covered in mud close up of cracked drying mud. a 10 inch chunk was taken out one of the cracked sections showing the top 2 inches dried and the bottom 8 inches damp. soil measurment props are placed in the two inches apart in the wet section the first one starting two inches below the dried surface.
Darmody taking measurements at the wooden experiment box John Marlin posing behind the wooden experiment box with dried cracked mud surface IDNR officials posing in front of the field of dried cracked mud
close up of mud cracked field view of the mud cracked field
another view of the mud cracked field

September 14, 2004. Banner Marsh.

Researchers again visit the site. A variety of measurements were taken. The drying blocks of sediment were firm to about 12 inches. The edges of the cracks were wearing where material had flaked off. Small cracks were visible near the tops of the blocks and dry material would crumble if struck with a shoe or trowel. This is the early stage of the formation of granular soil structure.

long view of the mud cracked field researcher holding up a chunk of cracked mud bottom 8 inches are damp and the top 3 inches are dried mud close up of section of cracked mud with a tape measure over showing the top 3 inches dried mud and the bottome 8 inches of damp soil
persons leg from mid thigh down to foot. mud crackes are the size of the person's foot researcher on wood plank on top of the wooden experiment box posing for photo while taking samples. the wood plank allows him to sample from the middle of the wooden box without walking on the  dried mud