A joint effort between the United States Corp of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Transportation is working to build a 25-acre wetlands area on more than 30 acres located at the base of the Blue Springs Lake dam near Family Golf Park just south of U.S. 40.

You may have noticed the heavy machinery out near Blue Springs Lake.

In the future, you may even notice a proliferation of nature.

A joint effort between the United States Corp of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Transportation is working to build a 25-acre wetlands area on more than 30 acres located at the base of the Blue Springs Lake dam near Family Golf Park just south of U.S. 40.

Linda Clark, district engineer for MoDOT, said the heavy equipment and workers at the site have been working there since about September. But because the area did not include any public roadways, or right-of-way measures, MoDOT has not made much of a public announcement.

“We didn’t think people were paying attention,” Clark said. “We’re glad that they are.”

Comprised of three cells, or ponds, the wetland will be an area like most traditional wetlands, where most of the soil is covered with water – either present at or near the surface all year or for varying periods of time.

Wetlands support both aquatic plants and animals, and Clark said that when completed, people in the area may see some signs of wildlife.

“Once the area takes hold, it’ll be nice,” Clark said. “There will be a wonderful example of nature in that area. A wetland is designed to drain water, but there will always be water present in some form.”

The project satisfies requirements established by National Environmental Policy Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1969. In the act, federal agencies include environmental “values” into their decision making processes as they build and development the land.

The wetland area near the base of the dam, Clark said, will satisfy several mandates in the future. In other words, the 25 acres will serve as “credit” for wetlands to be built when MoDOT builds and/or repairs future areas in District 4.

“This is land that the U.S. Corp of Engineers had, and there was a desire to build more,” Clark said. “Both MoDOT and the Corp are dedicated to this, and this helps us out because it gives us the chance to get a big project done instead of having to do small ones.”

The area will be accessible to the public, Clark said, but she discourages it for now. Property maps show that the wetland project will have a viewing area.

Clark has already been instrumental in one similar wetland project, located east of I-470 on U.S. 40 near the QuikTrip and Lowe’s. That was built around 1993, she said.

A completion date for this wetland project has not been determined, Clark said.

“We’d like to get it finished before the cold weather moves in, though,” she said.