Construction work is nearing completion on a project restoring a half-mile section of Fountain Creek to a more natural state and reducing erosion and sedimentation. The Fountain Creek Improvement Project, located on Clear Spring Ranch near Fountain, is a $3.6 million construction project that fulfills a mitigation commitment for the Southern Delivery System (SDS).
Over the years, multiple factors have contributed to instability in the creek’s natural flow pattern, causing bank erosion on the west side of the creek in the project area. SDS contractors have created a channel for the creek within a more natural bend to the east of the eroded area, then filled in and terraced the formerly eroded area. To help stabilize the restored area, crews built channel control structures that will serve to slow and direct storm flows and have planted thousands of wetland plants and trees in six acres of newly restored wetlands. Additionally, dead trees salvaged from the site have been incorporated into the creek banks to enhance habitat for wildlife.
All of these measures will help manage water flows during storm events, by slowing the water, reducing its force and allowing it to flow naturally into the flood plain/wetlands areas. Bank instability is common along creeks so this project could serve as a valuable pilot for effective ways to improve wildlife habitat and improve water quality. View video of how the improvements work.
SDS has committed to spending more than $145 million to benefit Fountain Creek and has already invested $32.4 million of that prior to construction being concluded. See full list of commitments.