Cold Stream/Mcloud Run Watershed

Cold Stream’s “headwaters” begin humble enough on the border of Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha, Iowa. The pathway is interesting in that the stream passes through a residential neighborhood, light industrial/retail area, it follows a bike and walking trail for most of its length, transecting a small urban park until reaching a heavy industrial area and finally entering the Cedar River just north of Downtown Cedar Rapids. During its 3.61 miles path it crosses under I-380 twice and drops on elevation some 31 meters, from its headwaters @ 251m above sea level to 220m at its mouth when it enters the Cedar River.

The watershed has a much smaller drainage on its west side as small hills prevent drainage to flow east into the stream, while the east boundary is much more extensive providing stormwater drainage from residential, retail, roadway and light commercial businesses and parking areas. The east boundary is also marked by another throughfare which drains east towards Indian creek which traverses portion so N.E. and S.E. Cedar Rapids.

During much of its length it is protected by a narrow riparian strip on both sides which does assist in reducing bank erosion during intense rain events. Its course is rather straight with very few bends which also assists in allowing normal flow to return quickly following heavy rains. Stream obstructions such as boulders and fallen trees create pools for the trout to remain during these brief rain events. The mapped drainage is estimated at 2.15 square miles and has a circumference of 9.22 miles, again most of the land drainage is found east of the stream itself.

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