BHS Creek Restoration Master Plan
Phase 1: Re-Meander, Restore Riparian Vegetation and Re-Landscape (Main Street to Lamme, 2014-2016)
Work Completed (Summer 2014)
In Summer 2014, we restored the main stream channel (watch our video) from Main Street to Lamme, taking advantage of work carried out 45 years ago by the BHS Class of 1969. We re-created the sinuosity (i.e. the amount of meander) of a natural stream, established appropriate streambed gravels and floodplain benches of wetland sod, and added large rock on bends. The restored channel includes aesthetic waterfalls, native grasses, and trees and shrubs to provide shaded areas in which to sit, eat lunch, or just ponder.
We also daylighted the creek from an 150 foot underground culvert that restricted fish passage and stream flow, and caused routine flooding of a parking lot along North 11th Avenue (see the now infamous inner tubing video. This shouldn’t happen!) We added two pedestrian bridges as Bozeman High School entrances where the stream was freed from its former underground entombment, across from Mendenhall. Already, the restored creek has a special sense of place where just lawn and concrete existed before.
Before (Spring 2014):
After (Fall 2014):
Phase 2: Improve Habitat for Riparian Users and Aesthetics for the Bozeman Community (Lamme to Durston, 2015 & 2017)
Initiated in Summer 2015, Phase 2 continues the restoration from Lamme to Durston along North 11th Avenue in order to offer an enhanced sense of arrival at the High School’s new entryway.
Work Completed (Summer 2015)
In the previously unadorned expanse from Lamme to Beall, we restored the meander of a natural stream and added boulders, riparian and upland plantings in order to create shade and overhangs (see slideshow). The rejuvenated area showcases our mountain environment and serves as an Arboretum of Montana for education and enjoyment.
Summer 2017 Activity (Planned)
In Summer 2017 and beyond, we will continue stream restoration and landscaping activities downstream along the remaining extent of the BHS campus, from the BHS Front Entrance to Durston.
We will add an amphitheater-style outdoor classroom to enable regular student use of the restoration and its features. Further, we will work with the City of Bozeman to plant and nurture boulevard trees, in order to greatly improve the pedestrian and visual experience of the area for our community.
Near the front entrance, where the creek has less room to wander, we will use plantings and large rock to cool the water for inhabitants and provide cover for other riparian users, especially songbirds as we beautify the area for all. Downstream, the restoration will be as extensive as in the photos above, with a new channel and riparian vegetation to restore the stream’s integrity, along with upland trees, shrubs and perennials for people and habitat alike.
Phase 3: Develop Creekside Classrooms and Pocket Parks for Student and Community Use (2017 and beyond)
Phase 3 is the addition of outdoor classrooms and seating areas in order to create pocket parks in harmony with the meandering creek.
A focal classroom will feature a benched amphitheater sloping down to the creek in front of the old library (see Phase 2, 2015 restoration). The creek will be front and center, as the classroom is expected to host student research in biology and other disciplines. A math teacher has requested the addition of fixed points, to allow for various calculations.
A second classroom near the BHS front entrance will further enhance the school’s appearance and provide ready access for a range of classes and events.
Beyond classrooms, benches and boulders and native plants landscaping will be added along the length of the creek, providing seating areas and functioning as pocket parks for all to enjoy!