Water detention efforts by Barge Waggoner in Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Enterprise South Industrial Park results in more bird sightings

[GBP Note:  Barge Waggoner should be commended on their work as well as their clients who supported the design of these water detention ponds.  What a great reward for "greening" the industrial park!]

White-faced Ibis spotted at Enterprise South Industrial Park

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 22:34
Written by 
Barge Waggoner Corporate


Chattanooga, Tenn. - Barge Waggoner’s work at Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga is a success story in many ways. These successes include the significant amount of site work undertaken in a short period of time, the massive environmental efforts involved in the stream relocation, the selection of the site by Volkswagen for their new assembly plant, and the achievement of the ACEC Engineering Excellence Award.

An unexpected success story can now be added to that list – sightings of birds that are not normally found in East Tennessee making stops at the detention ponds on their migrations south.

Volkswagen had noted an unusual amount of visitors at their site this past fall. Word got out that a few White-faced Ibis were spotted at the ponds filling up with food on their way south for the winter. Bird watchers came from all over the area to see the Ibis. According to the National Audubon Society, this bird’s migration path takes it west of the Mississippi River down to Louisiana and Texas for the winter. An East Tennessee sighting is a significant event.

Another record for Hamilton County is a flock of between 25-30 Snow Geese found at the site, with only one goose previously noted in County records. Their flight path also does not normally bring them to this area. The migration to the south typically takes them through the Midwest.

The Tennessee Ornithological Society has been keeping a tally of birds seen on the site for the past 2 years. The long list of species includes several birds rare to this region, including the Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Fish Crow, Sedge Wren, and Henslow’s Sparrow. Blue Herons have been nesting in the area, with 14 nests spotted at last count.

Over the Christmas holiday, the Greater White-fronted Goose was spotted, with many people coming out to take pictures. Local birders are also keeping an eye out for Snowy Owls, which have not been seen in Tennessee yet this year, but are likely to attract crowds if spotted at ESIP. Volkswagen employees have been excited about the bird sightings and are keeping us informed of the bird and bird-watcher activity they are seeing.

Barge Waggoner completed Phase I of the ESIP regional detention facility in 2008, with Phase II stormwater work currently underway. The team took great care to design the detention facility to be functionally sound, as well as environmentally sound. That effort has paid off with the pond attracting this unusual variety of birds.




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