Sunshine Creek Restoration

Sunshine Creek through the City of Boulder was severely impacted by the September 2013 flood event.  Birch Ecology is working with private landowners in the City of Boulder to restore and enhance a degraded, urbanized reach of Sunshine Creek that was significantly damaged during the flood.  Birch has assembled and managed a team of professionals to complete this work, including Steve Belz of Black Creek Hydrology who developed the restoration plan and is currently working onsite with the construction crews during project implementation.  Birch’s ecologists delineated the wetlands and obtained wetland permits from the City of Boulder and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, developed the revegetation plan, and managed the process of obtaining the floodplain permit and retaining wall permits from the City.  This project is currently under construction as of December 2018.  The major rockwork is complete along the lower half, and the next step will be excavating the channel bed along the upper half to create a rocky stream bottom that is continuous throughout the project reach.  The terraced boulder planting beds will be filled with a high-quality planters mix, and the riparian and wetland revegetation projects are scheduled for the spring of 2019.

The photos below illustrate the pre-project condition and the initial phases of the restoration, which is currently underway.

Sunshine Creek 1
The channel was severely damaged during the 2013 flood.
Sunshine Creek 2
Pre-project condition in February 2016.
Sunshine Creek 3
Steep, undercut bank before restoration in April 2016.
Sunshine Creek 4
Site preparation before rock work begins. August 2018.
Shunshine Creek Restoration 1
Construction is underway with oversight from Steve Belz of Black Creek Hydrology.
Shunshine Creek Restoration 3
Elevations are verified during construction to ensure compliance with the Floodplain Permit.
Sunshine Creek 5
View upstream. Construction was completed by CAP Excavating from Lyons, Colorado.
Sunshine Creek Rock Work
Completed rock work along the lower part of the project reach. The terraced planting beds are ready for soil.