Design & Construct Stormwater Treatment Wetlands & Channels, Riverwalk on Bear Creek, Ashland, Oregon

Client: Ashland Parks Department & Riverwalk Development

An unnamed perennial drainage captured runoff from a 400 acre urban watershed within the city limits of Ashland, and this untreated water flowed directly into Bear Creek, which is an important anadromous fish stream. The City of Ashland, in conjunction with Riverwalk Development funded a demonstration project to design and construct a series of treatment wetlands on property that was formally a city dump and old mill. The project also called for the restoration of a side channel for salmon habitat restoration and the stabilization of 700 feet of severely eroded banks along Bear Creek.

NBC completed project designs and permits/approvals for the Army Corps of Engineers, State Lands, and NOAA Fisheries during the winter of 2005. Construction began in the summer of 2006 and the project was completed the following fall. The project consisted of a number of key components:

  1. Construction of 4 wetland cells and a sediment trap which entailed the excavation, shaping , and grading of over 20,000 cubic yards of material.
  2. Planting the 4 wetland cells and the side channel with a variety of native emergent wetland and riparian trees and shrubs.
  3. Installation of an irrigation system for the wetland cells.
  4. Construction and shaping of the side channel to open it up to Bear Creek for fish access that will provide high flow refuge, and rearing for salmonids.
  5. The bank stabilization also included the placement and anchoring of numerous large root wads and planting the bank with willows, alder, and other riparian trees. The root wads were placed to provide salmonid habitat.

The site is now part of Ashland's park system and is maintained and utilized as part of the adjacent North Mountain Park Nature Center and education facility.