Willow Creek Project Wins National Award

Last year we reported that the District and project sponsors Arapahoe County and South Suburban Parks and Recreation District won the 1999 Colorado Association of Stormwater & Floodplain Managers (CASFM) Grand Award for Engineering Excellence. CASFM then submitted this project to the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) for national award consideration. The Willow Creek Project won the National award which was presented at the annual ASFPM conference in Austin, TX in June. This was an important year to win this prestigious award as this year it was decided to name this award after FEMA Director James Lee Witt in recognition of his landmark efforts to support, enhance and encourage local floodplain management capabilities. Mr. Witt presented the award at the conference to Cindy Thrush.

Following is a brief description of the project. This is a multi-faceted project that addresses both the flood control and water quality aspects of stormwater management. It was a joint project between the District’s Capital and Maintenance Programs.

The project is located in Arapahoe County in a natural open space park area. The drainage area tributary to the project site is 8.10 square miles (5184 acres), the 2 year discharge is 1650 cfs and the 100 year discharge is 6100 cfs. The Willow Creek watershed is fully urbanized in the lower half of the basin where the project is located, and is actively being developed in the upper half of the basin.

The primary purpose of the project was to stabilize the Willow Creek channel and to repair a vertical channel bank approximately 30 feet in height. Through the creativity and willingness of all project sponsors, several bioengineering techniques were used instead of traditional stabilization techniques. During the design phase, an opportunity arose to address water quality concerns, specifically sediment from the upstream watershed. A sedimentation pond was constructed to remove sediment before it reaches the Englewood Dam flood pool area. The pond enhances the water quality of the stormwater before it reaches the open space area, as well as mitigating excessive sediment buildup that repeatedly closed the recreation trail downstream of the project area.

Two District projects win CASFM awards

Two projects sponsored in part by the District won awards at the annual conference of the Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers (CASFM) held in Steamboat Springs in September. Brief descriptions of the projects are given below.

The winner of the Grand Award was the Marston Lake North Tributary Outfall. Local sponsors were Denver Wastewater Management Division and Denver Parks and Recreation Department. The lead consultant was ICON Engineering, Inc.

The project is tributary to Bear Creek in Bear Creek Park, and is located north (downstream) of Fort Logan National Cemetery. The project reach drops 40 feet in 500 feet. The solution was to carry flood discharges in a 72" diameter RCP through the project site. Low flows are kept on the surface, flowing through four small ponds. The outlet for the RCP is concealed in the lowest of the four ponds. The project solved a difficult drainage problem while creating an aesthetically pleasing addition to the park.

The Lower Boulder Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project received an Honor Award at the same conference. Local sponsor was the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department. The lead consultant was Love & Associates, Inc.

In the mid-70’s the Corps of Engineers channelized a reach of Boulder Creek, straightening the channel and removing two meander bends. This caused channel and bank instability. This project reconstructed the historic meanders for low flows. Wetlands were created in the abandoned portions of the Corps’ channel and trees were planted to provide shade for the channel.

District Wins Accounting Award

For the twelfth year in a row the District has received a "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The certificate is presented to government units whose comprehensive annual financial reports achieve the highest standards in government accounting and financial reporting. Congratulations to Frank Dobbins, Chief of Finance and Accounting, for continuing this string of awards.

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