Snow Creek Wetland Restoration

The Placer County Snow Creek Restoration Project, in North Lake Tahoe, CA, has received the Envision Platinum award. Snow Creek is the second project to receive an Envision rating.

The project restores an environmental zone and improves community mobility with construction of a walking and biking trail, and it connects existing trails, reduces dependency on car travel, and restores scenic views.

“It scored highly for its restoration of a brownfield site, historic wetlands, and the stream environment zone by removing fill and debris and reestablishing vegetation and wildlife habitat,” said ISI Executive Director Bill Bertera.

The project also protects floodplain functions and enlists native plants, such as yarrow, mountain sagebrush, and silver lupine, to eliminate pesticide and fertilizer. The implementation of this foliage also prevents surface and groundwater contamination and helps to control invasive species. Snow Creek’s environmental zone restoration prepares for natural and man-made short- and long-term hazards, including wildfire, flooding, soil erosion, and drought.

Among the project’s components were using a recycled rail car for a bike trail bridge over sensitive areas and the reuse of many materials onsite. Construction of the project minimizes water use and protects water resources. Willow trees planted near the natural stormwater channel will provide shade for water temperature control, and the project will reduce sediments within stormwater, allowing more water to reach Snow Creek. The project also reduces unwanted phosphorus and nitrogen, which will improve Lake Tahoe’s water quality.

Placer County Department of Public Works and CDM Smith provided the planning and design services.

The ISI Envision rating system measures sustainable infrastructure projects in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Learn more about Envision and ISI at sustainableinfrastructure.org.

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