Willow Creek Stream Restoration at Sterling Ranch


Project Overview

ICON was responsible for the design of over 1 mile of stream restoration improvements for Willow Creek located upstream of Rampart Range Road in Douglas County. Willow Creek, a perennial stream with its headwaters in the Pike National Forest, has been identified as a critical wildlife migration corridor. Years of over-grazing and changes in land use had caused the stream to incise nearly 15 feet and lose all floodplain connectivity. This project included the design of a geomorphic-sized, high function, low maintenance stream system.

The project design has a natural pool and riffle morphology, establishes wetlands and diverse plant communities, and met the goal of increasing floodplain connectivity. Tasks completed by ICON on this project include; geomorphic assessment, high function low maintenance stream design, optimization of wildlife crossing structure, hydraulic analysis, conditional letter of map revision (CLOMR), and development of design deliverables.

Project Outcomes
  • Realigning and stabilizing 8,600 linear feet of streambank
  • Constructing 33 riffle-pool stream features
  • Planting 55 acres of native plant seed
  • Planting 50 trees and nearly 2,000 shrubs
  • Establishing 2 new acres of wetland habitat
  • Creating 18 acres of high-quality riparian habitat
  • Establishing a high functioning and more resilient stream corridor

Project Information

Area of Expertise

Stream Restoration


Sterling Ranch Development Company and MHFD

Partner Companies

  • 5 Smooth Stones
  • Daley Land Surveying
  • ERO Resources
  • Great Ecology
  • Valerian, LLC

Project Schedule

Design Complete: 2019
Construction Complete: 2022

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