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Sanderson Gulch Redesign

Denver, CO

Great Ecology provided ecological design to the ICON team in redesigning a reach of Sanderson Gulch from the confluence with the South Platte River upstream past Lipan Street in southwest Denver. Sanderson Gulch has a 9.7 square mile drainage area with 100-year flows exceeding 3,200 cubic feet per second (CFS). The drainageway was redesigned to remove nearly 100 homes and businesses from the FEMA regulated floodplain, improve ecological function of the channel, and contribute to water quality improvements for the watershed. Additionally, local public infrastructure is better protected and public safety during storm events has been improved.
Great Ecology led the ecological stream and wetland design, planting plan and plant palette development, as well as maintenance strategies and construction administration support for the project. This involved designing the open channel and wetland system to include overbank, vegetated bioswales that assist with water quality improvements in conjunction with a water quality vault. Great Ecology also implemented a pilot study of the use of wood chips as a weed control mechanism by altering soil chemistry to favor native species. The pilot study included a series of test plots to successfully demonstrate the effect, ultimately offering a new weed control tool to Denver Parks and Recreation that uses a forestry by-product to help establish native seeded areas.

Engineering Excellence Award

Featuring the full project team

Reach 1 Channel Improvements

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