Sparta Glen Brook Restoration

Summary of the Sparta Glen Brook Restoration Project

The Fred S. Burroughs Chapter of Trout Unlimited is proud to announce the successful completion of its’ Sparta Glen Brook Restoration Project as of May 10th, 2016. We will re-assess the restoration several times in the next few years.

In-stream work started, as scheduled, on April 5th. While Joe Urbani was not available to supervise the project due to a recent surgery, the Urbani plan or design was masterfully executed by Lance Bigelow, Coy Hardie and our own Brian Cowden. Urbani Fisheries, LLC, of Bozeman, MT installed (90) pools, created (20) riffles, armored the stream banks and connected flood plains as required by the design or plan. In so doing, they essentially manipulated every square inch of the stream’s bed. I expect that we will have an aquatic insect population this summer and brook trout by next summer.

The in-stream work was completed and approved by the Town of Sparta and FSBNJTU on April 14th. It should be pointed out that the NJDEP inspected and approved the in-stream work on April 12th.

Between April 8th and May 10th, (131) volunteers working (636) hours, planted about (1900) trees and shrubs. The riparian zone planting was organized and supervised by the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group.

On May 10th, the total restoration was inspected and approved by Sparta’s Town Engineer, Eric Powell.

I’d like to recognize the efforts of Brian Marsh of US Fish and Wildlife who not only arranged for a significant amount of funding for the project, but also designed the planting plan, arranged for the delivery of (1300) trees and shrubs, and then augered (800) holes in the very rocky terrain we had to work with.

About (1000) additional hours were spent by FSBNJTU members preparing the DEP Permit Application, fund raising and various administrative tasks associated with the project.

Financially, we had (15) groups contribute close to $112,000. At this time there is about $10,000 left over for maintenance, starting this fall.

With regard to maintenance, we were able to get the Sparta Fire Department to agree to water our plantings through the summer for a “fund raising donation” of $50 per watering. The weather in the last five weeks has been very cooperative and we have not had to water the plants.

John Nordstedt


The Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited (FSB) is proud to announce that it has partnered with Sparta Township, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partners, US Fish and Wildlife, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture and TU National to do a stream restoration project for the Sparta Glen Brook. As many of you know, the Sparta Glen Brook was devastated with a microburst in 2000 and, after a partial rebuild, was again severely damaged with Hurricane Irene in 2011. The Trout Unlimited effort will stop the brook’s bank erosion and restore the brook’s ecosystem to its natural state. In doing so, the stream’s banks will be made stable with plantings, the habitat will be restored for natural trout spawning, and the general appearance of the park will be enhanced.

Project Costs

The instream work has been quoted at $72,500. We expect the planting costs to be between $35,000 and $50,000. Our total projected cost is between $120,000 and $135,000. In addition to the chapter’s contribution of about $50,000, most of the funding will come from grants from our partners.

Eastern Propane and Lakeland Bank, two of Sparta’s key businesses, have agreed to be sponsors of the project. We are currently searching for additional sponsors. If your company or one you know might be interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, please contact:

In addition, we are hoping for your support and generous donations. Please click the link below to make a donation

earmarked for this project via PayPal, or if you prefer to pay by check, please make them payable to 'North Jersey Trout Unlimited' and mail to:

Tom Mount, Treasurer

150 Flocktown Road

Long Valley, NJ 07853

Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey Trout Unlimited is a 501c(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible. We thank you for your generous contributions!

Status of Funding

We will update this chart every two weeks until we reach our goal. In addition, at each update we will list all contributions over $25, unless submitted anonymously or the donor requests anonymity.

Volunteer Information

We are estimating that the project will require over 600 hours of volunteer effort, primarily to assist with the massive effort of replanting the banks. If you or an organization you know is interested, volunteer sign-up sheets will be available at the locations below. Even one hour will help!

  • Sparta High School – See Mr. Brown

  • Sparta Middle School – See Dr. Steneken

  • Sparta Library – Both at the front desk and at the Parks & Recreation Department downstairs

Or contact:

Details of the Restoration

Overall, the project will restore 0.68 miles of the Sparta Glen Brook as designated on the map displayed at the left.

Our objective is to enhance all aspects of habitat that trout require, as well as improve and stabilize the damaged riparian zones. We will utilize a technique called “bed manipulation” which involves reorganizing the native elements in the stream to favor trout and their food based organisms, thereby allowing the stream to reach its full potential. We will work with the natural characteristics of the stream to optimize habitat conditions. We will include development of pool, riffle and run habitats, and stabilization of the stream banks and flood plane areas. Streambed material will be replaced in areas that are appropriate for trout spawning and juvenile trout habitat. Maintenance, including riparian plantings on the banks of the brook will be required. We are committed to maintaining the restoration of the brook for the next several years and look forward to involving the community in our project and its maintenance.

Project Schedule

The Permit Application was signed by Sparta’s Township Manager William Close on April 15th, 2015. The application was filed with the DEP on May 20th. We received DEP approval and the Permit on September 2nd. In-stream work is currently scheduled to start about April 4th, 2016, as long as the weather cooperates. Urbgani Fisheries, LLC, our contractor, estimates the in-stream work will take about ten days. The town has agreed to clean up any debris and re-locate any boulders left after the in-stream work is complete. We plan to start planting the 5.2 acres of riparian zone immediately after the in-stream work is complete. We estimate that we will be planting about (1500) plants. We expect the planting job will take about (600) hours over ten planting days between April and June. We hope to have help from local scouts, school groups and interested townspeople. The Wallkill River Watershed Management Group (WRWMG) will advise advise and oversee the planting operation. In addition, we expect lots of help from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Besides WRWMG, TU volunteers will plant and supervise other volunteers during the planting sessions. It should be an enjoyable community project. At this time we don’t know how much planting we will be allowed to do on the 10.6 acres of hillside. That will be a 2017/18 project in any event. Stay tuned.


Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited, in keeping with the TU mission to “conserve, protect and restore North America’s cold water fisheries and their watersheds", along with its partners, is going to restore Sparta Glen Brook. Please be generous with your support.

Restoration Sponsors

Many thanks to the following businesses that have become sponsors of our project. Please visit their websites to learn more about them.

This beautiful brook trout was caught in the Sparta Glenn Brook in July by one of our chapter member's son!

973-948-3000 - 40 Wantage Ave, Branchville, NJ 07890

Eastern Propane
Lakeland Bank


The list of non-anonymous donors to date is as follows (in alphabetical order). A heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one of them!

  • Brian Foley

  • East Jersey Trout Unlimited

  • Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited

  • Hudson Farms Foundation

  • John Nordstedt

  • Lakeland Bank

  • New Jersey Highlands Coalition

  • New Jersey State Council Trout Unlimited

  • Ridge and Valley Trout Unlimited

  • Robert Romano

  • Rodney Frelinghuysen

  • Shelia Gaynor

  • Stephen and Arlene Kayne

  • TU Printing