Restoring an historic creek

An Experiment Station grant of more than $100 thousand will enable researchers to monitor and restore part of an historic creek that flows through and around the Clemson campus. Hunnicutt Creek and Clemson have a long relationship going back to the university founding. In 1890, state lawmakers approved using convict labor for Clemson’s first buildings from the clay in what then was called Mill Creek. Now, Hunnicutt Creek will have research and teaching roles. It’s to serve as a living laboratory for faculty and students focusing on ecosystems. The creek watershed fits nearly hand in glove with the campus. It drains through campus and collects runoff from building rooftops, parking lots and other surfaces. “The main stem of Hunnicutt Creek flows through the Botanical Gardens,” said Cal Sawyer, associate director of the Clemson University Center for Watershed Excellence and assistant professor in the School of Agriculture, Forest and Environmental Science. Eventually, the water flows into the old Seneca River channel, where water is pumped into Lake Hartwell.