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Resilient St. Vrain

Environmentally Responsible Planning

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Resilient St. Vrain: Restore & Revitalize


One goal of Resilient St. Vrain is to complete the project work in an environmentally sensitive manner.

This includes:

  • Maintaining or enhancing the natural habitat for wildlife and fish
  • Creating wetland areas to help clean water that makes its way into the creek after storms or by runoff from more developed areas

Environmental Permitting

After the September 2013 flood, an emergency declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allowed the City to obtain public assistance grant funding to construct parts of the Resilient St. Vrain Project. The project went through an environmental review process as part of the grant requirements. View FEMA's findings on the Environmental Assessment webpage >

St. Vrain Greenway

The St. Vrain Greenway is being reconstructed and rebuilt all along the St. Vrain Creek.

  • The St. Vrain Greenway is now OPEN from Main Street east to Sandstone Ranch Nature Area
  • Temporary trail closures or detours will be required as project construction moves upstream. Consult the Trail Status Map for details

Trees, Grasses and Vegetation

Learn more about trees along the St. Vrain Creek and their role in a healthy ecosystem >

  • Some trees will be removed for construction 
  • Native-species trees, shrubs, and grasses are being planted to maintain and enhance natural wildlife habitat areas along the creek. View a list of species planted through the Resilient St. Vrain Project >
  • Contributions are being made to the City fund that allows for planting as needed elsewhere within Longmont's Urban Forest. These contributions are especially useful with the 2016 discovery of Emerald Ash Borer in Longmont
    • City Reach 1 $195,333
    • City Reach 2A $487,600
  • Plantings will provide refuge areas for wildlife, birds and fish along the creek, while also considering public safety and the safe conveyance of flood flows


Resilient St. Vrain focuses on the area surrounding the creek, known as the creek corridor. Improving the corridor will create and enhance habitat areas for wildlife, including fish and birds.

The project team works closely with federal and state agencies to ensure work times are sensitive to the nesting cycle of bald eagles and other wildlife.

Natural Channel Design

Natural Channel Design methods 

Construction on Resilient St. Vrain incorporates many components of natural channel design, including:

  • Respecting the creek’s natural tendencies to curve and meander over time and allowing space for this to happen
  • Using natural materials (such as tree roots and logs, rocks, and vegetation) to enhance habitat and stabilize creek banks

Sandstone Ranch

The St. Vrain Creek remains in its post-flood alignment in the Sandstone Ranch Nature Area. This allows the creek to use a larger, more natural floodplain. Work in Sandstone focused on stabilizing creek banks and beds, while also giving nature a jump-start through seeding and plantings.

Dickens Farm Nature Area

Dickens Farm Nature Area is a 52-acre site located between Main and Martin Streets along the St. Vrain Creek. The area will include trails, a river park area, and educational and habitat areas. Creek work for Dickens is complete; remaining work is anticipated to be completed in time for spring runoff in 2019.

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