Fountain Creek Restoration at Gold Hill Mesa
Client: City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Department of Transportation and Gold Hill Mesa Development (Private Developer)
A unique partnership developed during the master planning of the U.S Highway 24 project in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Colorado Springs Storm Water Enterprise, Colorado Department of Transportation and Gold Hill Mesa Development joined together to restore 2,400 liner feet of Fountain Creek. The project is intended to demonstrate state of the art restoration techniques and implementation strategies.
This segment of Fountain Creek was to serve as the flagship project to define what this Creek corridor should be. THK developed drainage alternatives that would help stabilize the Creek while maintaining its natural character. These improvements included:
- Low flow check structures that were visually appealing and supported fish habitat
- Bio-swales that help to catch roadway drainage and filter out large amounts of sediment before entering the Creek
- Riparian and wetland areas that support a diverse array of submerged, emergent and transitional aquatic plants
- Extensive and diverse willow shrub plantings along the Creek to help stabilize and to increase the biodiversity of the site
THK also developed unique structures and stream morphology to attract fish. These improvements included:
- Rock Low flow check structures that were visually appealing and were fish friendly (less than 6” Drops)
- Utilitize trees that serve as a natural drop structures while also creating still, eddy pools to promote fish spawning
- Create a “fish” thalweg anchored with boulders at allow fish to move during dry seasons
- Extensive and diverse willow shrub plantings along the Creek to help stabilize the creek attract insects, and macro-invertebrates while enhancing fish habitat.
All of these improvements are connected to create a network of solutions to increase the water quality of Fountain Creek. A large volunteer effort planted over 40,000 willows to help the Creek and to get the community involved and to take ownership of this unique Creek corridor.