Bowman Creek Project

Bowman Creek

Bowman Creek is a tributary of the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Indiana. Over the years, the creek has become contaminated from a number of different sources along the creek, including a coal dismantle facility, paint factory, and defense plant. As the pollution worsened, residents grew less respectful for the creek, and started to treat it as a dump themselves. These contaminants in turn caused dangerous levels of E. coli and other bacteria. Fish can no longer survive in these conditions, and residents typically keep their distance from it in fear of the pathogen-infested water.

Water level also causes problems in the creek. The water flow is very inconsistent due to poor water management. The pipes and culverts are old and improperly sized. This leads to the flooding of the creek when it rains and drying of the creek during droughts. Flooding in turn causes damage to homes along the creek.


The goal is for different forces in the South Bend community to join together, including the University of Notre Dame, Riley High School, and the City of South Bend, to restore the creek and surrounding neighborhood to its former glory.

Parks and Trails

Architects from the University of Notre Dame are drawing up plans for adding different attractions to the creek, such as parks and walking trails to enjoy.

This would entail redirecting the creek so that certain sections are above ground, bringing the water out into the open to get to a more natural state.

Raise Awareness
The team hopes to raise awareness in the community so that those who reside near and play by the creek join the effort to turn this into a respected and revered part of the City.

View a List of Contributors

View a Map of Bowman Creek

View a Video of Bowman Creek

View Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem Internship Website

View Photos of Bowman Creek Sub-projects

Contact (Gary Gilot, Engineering Leadership and Community Outreach Director)