At a Glance
An innovative regenerative design provided stability to Red Butte Creek and restored aquatic and riparian habitat to Miller Park.
Since it was established in 1935, Miller Park Bird Refuge and Nature Preserve has served as a wildlife corridor and waypoint for migrating neo-tropical birds, and important pocket of green space within an otherwise urbanized city environment. Red Butte Creek, which flows through the site, was already stressed by surrounding development. The creek suffered severe impacts after a 2010 oil pipeline spill upstream.
Biohabitats helped the Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands Department regenerate ecosystem health and natural function to a severely degraded reach of Red Butte Creek in Miller Park. The project included four major elements: invasive species control and establishment of native vegetation; streambed restoration and water velocity reduction; stream bank stabilization, and trail and signage improvements.
Biohabitats’ approach raised the creek bed, widened the channel, and reduced stress on its bed and banks. The design not only slows down, detains, and treats stormwater; it also hydrates the floodplain to allow native riparian vegetation to flourish. Riffle/pool sequences also provide significant aquatic habitat. Biohabitats prepared concept designs and then assisted Salt Lake City to obtain feedback from residents during several public meetings. Biohabitats incorporated the feedback into construction drawings and complete bid documents. Biohabitats also assisted Salt Lake City during construction by providing construction oversight services. Construction was completed in the Fall of 2014 and the project has weathered several large storm events – one of which exceeded the 100-year discharge.