The photo above shows the confluence of Kelly Creek with the Rock River. In the distance you can see Boney Island with an active eagle nest with 2 eaglets in it. This photo was taken on the new “Rock River Birding Trail”.

May 15, 2020 – Illinois American Water has awarded environmental grants for eight watershed initiatives across the state. The environmental grant recipients will receive a share of funds totaling $25,672 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.  

Nature at the Confluence in South Beloit will receive a $3,700 grant for environmental improvement efforts in the Rock River watershed. Funds will be used to clean the river and creek banks. Signage explaining the significance of the Kelly Creek watershed will also be created and installed. A new public use trail will be constructed. Nature at the Confluence partners with City of South Beloit, Friends of the Rock River, Rock River Trail Visitor Center and Welty Environmental Center
This is the third year Illinois American Water contributed to the work at Nature at the Confluence.  Almost $10,000 in total has been provide to support these efforts. (click here to download entire media release)

“We are so pleased that Illinois American Water continues to support our work in cleaning up Kelly Creek banks, which have been heavily compromised with improper fill, such as tires and concrete, and garbage that flows down from the storm sewers. The adjacent area will soon become a nature-based playground, and we want to make the area safe and inviting”, says Nature At The Confluence executive director, Therese Oldenburg. “The grant will support installation of an interpretive sign that will educate the public about protecting our watershed.”

Kelly Creek is a natural spring that has been buried under the city of South Beloit. It “daylights” on the Confluence Campus, and is co-mingled with storm water run off from the streets. It collects garbage brought into the creek by storm water run off from adjacent streets.The banks of Kelly Creek are all un-natural fill, including foundry sand, slag, concrete, glass, metal refuse, carpeting.  

Kelly Creek flows less than 1/2 mile from where it “daylights” on the Confluence Campus to the Rock River, where an active eagle nest can be viewed. Previous grants have helped fund clean ups on Kelly Creek, and the new “Rock River Birding Trail”, which winds between Turtle Creek, Kelly Creek and the Rock River. 

Below are a few photos recently taken along Kelly Creek.