This project is located at the confluence of the North Fork and main stem of the Big Thompson River near the Town of Drake, and contains several private properties and local businesses. The 2013 flood event produced large deposits of sediment and debris which completely blocked the US 34 bridge, and damaged private and public infrastructure from roadways to hotels, homes, and campgrounds. Restoring immediate access was a top priority after the flood, but emergency measures executed without a holistic vision left the reach severely degraded and in need of significant additional investment to repair. The North Fork Project consisted of sediment and debris removal to improve capacity of the river to pass higher flows; streambank stabilization and sediment redirection using innovative bioengineering techniques (engineering with rock and logs) along river banks, beds, and floodplain; and river habitat enhancement through native plant revegetation and habitat complexity installation.
This project had a blazing construction timeline of only 87 days from February to April 2017!
Stay tuned for upcoming volunteer days to help us with ongoing site management including monitoring project progress, controlling weedy non-native plants, and installing more native plant species.