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Snow Creek Stream Environment Zone Restoration

Location Information: Placer County, California United States

GIS Data:

Project Type(s): Inland Waterways

Project Owner/Agency: Placer County Department of Public Works

Budget: $1,000,001 - $2,500,000

Envision Rating: Not Rated


Snow Creek Stream and its surrounding meadow and wetlands in North Lake Tahoe, California, is a scenic area bordering residential neighborhoods, commercial properties and acres of recreational land. In the 1950s, a concrete batching facility was built over a portion of the meadow. Over the next 50 years of operation, extensive fill was placed over sensitive land and soils were impacted by concrete manufacturing and equipment fueling and maintenance activities. This multi-objective project included restoring sensitive environmental areas, stormwater treatment, trail improvements and educational and way-finding signage.

Triple Bottom Line

Economic: The salvaging and reuse of materials such as rock, native soils, wetland sod, and other plant materials significantly reduced import/export costs.

Social: The project improves community mobility with the construction of a walking/biking trail that connects to existing trails and reduces dependency on car travel while restoring views and local character.

Environmental: 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. Reducing sediments and unwanted phosphorus and nitrogen will improve Lake Tahoe's water quality. Native plants including yarrow, mountain sagebrush and silver lupine have been selected to eliminate pesticide and fertilizer use, thereby preventing surface and groundwater contamination and controlling invasive species.

Innovative Aspects

The Snow Creek Stream Environment Zone Restoration Project is the nation's second project to receive an ISI Envision rating, and the first to receive a Platinum rating. The project restored a brownfield to a wetland with public access and stormwater management capabilities

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