Digging has begun on the Archey Fork restoration project.

The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas’ Joy DeClerk, project lead, said months were spent obtaining permits, hauling material to the site and completing the project flood model. The ground work began Sept. 3.

She said Dwight Hutto donated the tornado-damaged trees from his property to be used in the project.

DeClerk said the first order of business before construction began was erosion control. The team has dug a sediment retention pond and has developed a series of levees to block construction drainage.

Also in phase one, the toewood structure will be built. This involves excavating the existing bank so rootwads can be placed facing the stream as low in the channel as possible.

There are three phases to the restoration project. Phase one has been fully funded. The other two phases are not yet funded.

To learn more about the project and to see photos from Week One, visit http://restoringtheupperlittlered.com.