Erosion Control March/April 2017 : Page 17

CO, within the Denver metropolitan region. Trujillo says her organization collaborated with the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) to facilitate a drainage master plan that would restore Piney Creek. The creek is 12 miles long and drains a watershed of 22 square miles. “Since Piney Creek is such an alluvial channel, we’ve been experiencing accelerated erosion and sedimentation issues, so we prioritized this project as it was literally falling apart and was highly unstable.” She describes how the project in being done in phases. “The first one included establishing a stabilized bankfull channel section with geomorphic design principles, along with revegetation work, which was performed to stabilize and secure the channel and reduce the chance of any future erosion.” Trujillo explains that the mission of SEMSWA in the southeast Denver metro area is one of both solving and pre-venting drainage and flood control challenges, embarking on projects “that are needed to protect the environment, people, and property.” Rich Borchardt of UDFCD explains how these efforts fit into the larger geographical picture. “SEMSWA is the local arm of government that handles drainage for the city of Centennial and portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, whereas we cover the broader Denver metro area.” He says the Piney Creek stream restoration started when residents first noticed a problem that they brought to local officials, who then contacted SEMSWA, which performed a master plan study with UDFCD’s assistance. “They [SEMSWA] are a fee-based stormwater utility, and an additional funding partner is the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority, who are funded by a fee from state parks,” he notes. Borchardt adds that his organization provides drainage improvements and uses natural solutions rather than hard armoring whenever possible; vegetation plays a huge role in this effort. “We need to take extra effort in vegetation to preserve and protect the stream itself. It’s a vital part of the whole system, and the Piney Creek project was designed to achieve both of those goals. It’s a great example of how things can be done.” Borchardt says the groups partnered with Denver-based THK Landscape Architects for design and revegetation specifications. The project was so successful it was awarded an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Merit Award for revegetation and stabilization efforts. Compo-nents of the effort included amending the top 6 inches of land surface, native seeding, wetland sod, and native shrubs and trees. Jenna Bockey, landscape designer with THK, says, “We’ve done a lot of river restorations and they trust our recommen-dations. We came up with species for successful plantings and everything is establishing really well.” She adds that restoring wetland habitat to the creekbed was an important aspect of the work. “Some 18,000 feet of MARCH/APRIL 2017 EROSION CONTROL 17

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