Wayne County Airport Authority


Crosswinds Marsh Interpretive Preserve

New Boston, Sumpter Township, Michigan

1,050 acres, 425 hectares

Engineering, Environmental Science, Landscape Architecture, Master Planning, Programming

Legacy Award

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This award-winning project, created to meet environmental regulations for the expansion of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, converted farmlands into a 1,050-acre wetlands preserve. The thriving, restored habitat draws herons, fox and bald eagles, too - along with 15,000 visitors annually, making it a resounding success.

SmithGroupJJR's integrated design far exceeded environmental requirements, establishing a fully functioning wetland ecosystem without dykes, pumps or other manmade systems. Alongside new habitat are unique recreational and educational amenities: hiking and equestrian trails, fishing docks, canoe routes and observation platforms.

The design demanded advanced modeling of hydrologic and hydraulic conditions so the wetlands would be stable and self-regulating. On-site monitoring allows local officials to check ecological function, and an aggressive management plan controls invasive species, critical to the restoration's success. Just as important, as one of the largest U.S. wetland mitigation projects, Crosswinds is now home to more than 200 species of birds, 170 species of plants, 20 fish, 30 mammals, 21 reptiles and amphibians, and 70 species of butterflies and dragonflies.

Related Content

ASCE Project Spotlight:
Crosswinds Marsh Interpretive Preserve

L.A. China Article
Read this article by Crosswinds' designers from Landscape Architecture China Magazine, 2011, No. 6.

LAF Performance Series Case Study
See Crosswind's performance metrics and benefits on Landscape Architecture Foundation site.