As part of the Miller’s Landing Development, WaterVation developed a stream restoration plan to address stream degradation within Miller’s Gulch caused by 63 years of land use changes that adversely impacted the channel. Miller’s Gulch runs along the north edge of the Miller’s Landing property, and stabilizing this channel is one of our first steps in creating infrastructure that will support development. The gulch is an intermittent sand-bed stream system that only flows during rainfall events or during snowmelt, making it very sensitive to land use disturbances and extreme rainfall events.
Natural Channel Design
The stream restoration design plan for Miller’s Gulch was founded on the principles of Natural Channel Design, which focuses on restoring the natural stream shape, which is proven to efficiently mitigate erosive storm flows. Natural appearing rock features were added throughout to provide additional channel stability and protection for adjacent infrastructure. One of the objectives of this design was to work within the naturally occurring environmental amenities that provide riparian and upland diversity within this watershed. Specific focus was given to the preservation of mature Rocky Mountain Scrub Oak, which can take decades to grow to even a moderate size.
Bringing an Urban River Corridor to Life
The stream restoration design reconnects the degraded floodplain in areas where the channel has incised over time. Restoring this incision will allow for the channel and floodplain to become hydrologically connected and enable the re-establishment of the riparian corridor. Native seeding and willow plantings are planned within the restored floodplain to establish a vegetated community that provides stream stability, riparian habitat, and an aesthetic natural urban river corridor. Our on-site crews are making great progress on this restoration, and we are thrilled to be a part of this stream system coming back to life after years of degradation.