At a Glance

The creek bank is stabilized and restored to create a safe, friendly experience for trail users.

Project Description

The City of Boulder, Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP) maintains a vast array of hiker/biker trails, including a popular trail along South Boulder Creek. In several locations, heavy foot traffic down to the creek had left the banks vulnerable to stream erosion, threatening both the creek and the trail. OSMP recognized the problem and retained Biohabitats to design and build natural bank stabilization for three areas on South Boulder Creek.

Biohabitats performed field assessments and developed design-build design drawings in close cooperation with OSMP staff to ensure that the restoration would not only be stable but would also allow the proper function of the trail. OSMP used the design drawings to obtain Federal, State and Local permits to perform the channel work. Shortly before construction was to begin in April 2014, before spring runoff, OSMP still needed a floodplain permit from Boulder County. OSMP turned to Biohabitats to assist with obtaining the floodplain permit. Biohabitats performed the modeling, submitted the necessary computations/reports, and shepherded the permit submittal through to approval. We were able to obtain the floodplain permit within a week, just one day before construction was scheduled to begin.

Biohabitats performed the construction with our grading partner, Budhoe’s Backhoe. The construction was completed in only five days, with minimal disruption to trail use. In each of the three areas, the creek channel was realigned to reduce stress on the banks and to allow pedestrian access to the creek via point bars with minimal erosion potential.



Southern Rocky Mountain

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration, Water


City of Boulder, Open Space and Mountain Parks Department


Boulder, Colorado, United States