The
English Coulee flows through the city of Grand Forks, entering the residential
area near I-29 and 17th Ave S. It then passes through residential
areas, parks, and green space, before crossing US 2 on the north side of the
City. The Coulee then passes northward through a livestock farm before turning
eastward to its confluence with the Red River. At 11th Ave South, a
side coulee joins the main stem of English Coulee at the ne corner of Sertoma
Park. The Greenway continues southward along this side coulee to approximately
24th Avenue S, and along the main coulee until it crosses 34th
Street. For the purpose of this IBA nomination, the English Coulee Greenway is defined
as the portion between 24th Ave S and Highway 2. This stretch of the
Coulee is freely accessible by pathways for walking and biking. Vegetation
along the Greenway includes cattail, red osier dogwood, lilac hedges, shelterbelts
of green ash, Russian olive thickets, and shrub plantings that include both
natives and ornamentals. A low dam about one block north of DeMers Avenue
deepens the coulee for a considerable distance to the south. Residences border the Greenway for most of its length.

Ornithological Summary

The
English Coulee Greenway provides a valuable stopover for passerines in both
spring and fall in the highly agricultural Red River Valley. The coulee itself
provides a variety of invertebrates, especially important in spring, while the
various plantings provides seeds and berries in fall. The Greenway supports an
array of nesting passerines as well as green herons, wood ducks and mallards. I
concentrated on birding this site in 2013 and recorded 136 species in the
37 checklists submitted to e-bird. There is
also sufficient data to qualify this site as an IBA area during Fall migration.
However this data is not included here.

Conservation Issues


The biggest threat
is pollution of the watershed of the coulee, stormwater runoff, and chemicals
used on lawns. Field tiling is now taking place on upstream areas of the coulee
which will further degrade water quality by fertilizer, pesticides, and
siltation. There is lack of flow in the coulee during drier times, which
concentrates pollutants. At such times, the coulee is subject to algae blooms.
During times of flooding, much of the coulee is diverted to a channel that
flows along the west and north sides of the city.


            Additional threats come from
mosquito control measures and over-zealous management of the green spaces.

Ownership

Ownership Details:  Grand Forks Park District, University of North Dakota, and private homes that border the coulee. The portion between 24th Ave S and DeMers Avenue is mostly managed by the City of Grand Forks Park Board, while that between DeMers and U.S. Highway 2 is managed by the University of North Dakota as green space. Back yards of privately-owned homes border much of the space along the bikeway side of the Greenway. The other side of the coulee generally does not allow for public access except in Sertoma Park.

Land Use

A
paved trail along the coulee is open to the public for biking and hiking. The
areas adjacent to the trail is managed by the park district. Sertoma Park is a
public park used as a playground and for picnicking. It includes the Japanese
Garden and an arboretum.

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