WESTERLY CREEK RESTORATION

CLIENT

PARK CREEK METROPOLITAN DISTRICT

 

LOCATION

DENVER, COLORADO

 

SERVICES

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING, BIO-ENGINEERING, CREEK RESTORATION, STORMWATER MANAGEMENT, WATER QUALITY, PASSIVE RECREATION

Westerly Creek Restoration

While at EDAW, Greg Weykamp designed the Westerly Creek at the Stapleton Redevelopment site in Denver. Westerly Creek serves as a case study of the design process – from concept through construction – of integrating the constraints of urban infill with the need for stormwater management and water quality, coupled with ecological and passive recreational objectives. This project was a multi-disciplinary effort involving hydraulic engineering, structural engineering, landscape architecture, and ecology. Westerly Creek was ‘daylighted’ from a 108” RCP that passed under the runways of the former Stapleton Airport. The numerous constraints of stormwater requirements from the adjacent land uses, underground utilities servicing the adjacent land uses, and recreational opportunities were integrated into the design and function of the corridor. Architectural features to accommodate stormwater outfall, a 4’ drop structure, as well as bridges and trail systems for pedestrian, bicyclists and equestrians, were integrated throughout the design.

Ecologically, the corridor was targeted for a variety of small mammal and bird species that currently inhabit the Sand Creek corridor to the north. This was accomplished with the use of native and drought tolerant tree and shrub material, wetland plants, and grasses designed to emulate an eastern Colorado foothills/prairie wetland transitioning to a mid-grass prairie environment. The landscape design tries to remain true to the ecology of the high plains, but the design metaphor stretched these boundaries due to site size and the need for the urban transition to the adjacent land uses. Extensive use of wetlands plugs in concert with wetland sod and biologs were designed with species mixes specific to hydrologic regimes mapped along the 4,000 lineal-foot corridor.

The use of the wetlands material has the multifaceted purpose of providing stormwater filtration through water quality ponds, bank stabilization with the sod and biologs, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic enhancements to create a ‘preserve’. Westerly Creek is not a pure ecological project and it is not a pure stormwater engineering project. It is a hybrid of the two, resulting in a non- traditional approach to designing a stormwater conveyance system that looks and behaves like a natural creek channel, while benefiting urban wildlife and the residents of Denver and surrounding environs.

Westerly Creek Restoration

While at EDAW, Greg Weykamp designed the Westerly Creek at the Stapleton Redevelopment site in Denver. Westerly Creek serves as a case study of the design process – from concept through construction – of integrating the constraints of urban infill with the need for stormwater management and water quality, coupled with ecological and passive recreational objectives. This project was a multi-disciplinary effort involving hydraulic engineering, structural engineering, landscape architecture, and ecology. Westerly Creek was ‘daylighted’ from a 108” RCP that passed under the runways of the former Stapleton Airport. The numerous constraints of stormwater requirements from the adjacent land uses, underground utilities servicing the adjacent land uses, and recreational opportunities were integrated into the design and function of the corridor. Architectural features to accommodate stormwater outfall, a 4’ drop structure, as well as bridges and trail systems for pedestrian, bicyclists and equestrians, were integrated throughout the design.

Ecologically, the corridor was targeted for a variety of small mammal and bird species that currently inhabit the Sand Creek corridor to the north. This was accomplished with the use of native and drought tolerant tree and shrub material, wetland plants, and grasses designed to emulate an eastern Colorado foothills/prairie wetland transitioning to a mid-grass prairie environment. The landscape design tries to remain true to the ecology of the high plains, but the design metaphor stretched these boundaries due to site size and the need for the urban transition to the adjacent land uses. Extensive use of wetlands plugs in concert with wetland sod and biologs were designed with species mixes specific to hydrologic regimes mapped along the 4,000 lineal-foot corridor.

The use of the wetlands material has the multifaceted purpose of providing stormwater filtration through water quality ponds, bank stabilization with the sod and biologs, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic enhancements to create a ‘preserve’. Westerly Creek is not a pure ecological project and it is not a pure stormwater engineering project. It is a hybrid of the two, resulting in a non- traditional approach to designing a stormwater conveyance system that looks and behaves like a natural creek channel, while benefiting urban wildlife and the residents of Denver and surrounding environs.

Back to Project Gallery