Rock Creek Restoration

Auburn, California

Foothill Associates developed a restoration and enhancement plan for a tributary to Rock Creek in Auburn, California, that was affected by development in the area. The purpose of the restoration master plan was to recommend ecologically beneficial improvements to the tributary, focusing on habitat enhancement, hydro-geomorphic improvements, water quality enhancement, and increased recreational opportunities.


The restoration plan was preceded by a thorough assessment of creek hydrology, hydraulics, water quality, biology and botany. The final plan focused on improving the hydrology, riparian vegetation, and water quality of the creek while reducing the potential for stormwater impacts to site vegetation and soils, as well as adjacent properties. The plan includes a pedestrian/ bike trail that also functions as an access road for sewer-line maintenance vehicles, interpretive signage, and integration of a future mixed-use commercial complex. Two public meetings were held with local landowners to identify public concerns and obtain property-owner buy-in on the project. Low Impact Development (LID) concepts were integrated into the overall design, including filtration wetlands, permeable paving, and water catchment areas to reduce the impacts of existing and future development on the creek. The project involved detailed assessments of existing biological/ botanical communities, hydraulic and geomorphic conditions, water quality, and recreational opportunities, which were used in developing an opportunities and constraints analysis and a final conceptual design for the site.


LID concepts include filtration wetlands, permeable paving, and water catchment areas.


Long-term vision for the site incorporates LEED-certified mixed-use commercial center with outdoor plaza adjacent to the open space, parking lots with permeable paving, detention/filtration wetlands to capture and filter runoff, and bike trail.


One of the goals in filtration wetland design is to create long pathways and gradual gradients to maximize the removal of pollutants.


The opportunities analysis considered surrounding recreation users.