Willow Springs Preserve Restoration Wraps Up

Aug 08, 2022
The active phase of the Willow Springs Preserve restoration has officially wrapped up! Crews built more than 130 structures by hand to help improve habitat in and along Whychus Creek.


The active phase of the Willow Springs Preserve restoration has officially wrapped up! Crews have been at the Preserve since May preparing materials and actively building the natural structures that are being used in the restoration. They built more than 130 structures by hand in this restoration to help improve habitat in and along Whychus Creek. Fly over the restoration in the video below!



Now that active construction is complete, we are already beginning to see some of the benefits including:

  • Instant habitat: There was very little to no wood in this portion of Whychus Creek before the restoration. The addition of all the instream woody structures has boosted fish habitat by providing new places to take cover, and, over time, will provide a variety of other habitat benefits.
  • Slower water: The habitat structures are also already helping slow water down and creating deeper water levels. This benefits fish and also helps boost the water table in the surrounding meadow.
  • New channel structure: Sand is already beginning to deposit on the downstream side of many of the log structures. Over time this will create more bends in the creek as the water flows around the sand piles. The creek will also begin to scour out new pools as it moves around the log structures. Pools, meanders = habitat diversity for fish and wildlife.

Now what? We watch and wait and let Whychus Creek do the work! The goal of this kind of low-tech restoration is to let the creek and its natural processes lead. Over time, with the addition of high flows, the log structures throughout the restoration will jumpstart these processes which will change the creek and build more habitat. We anticipate returning in two years or more to fine tune and build more structures as needed. Of course, this fall, thousands of native plants will be added to the restoration area to provide stream shade, soil stability, and habitat for wildlife.

Although Willow Springs Preserve is closed to the public, we encourage you to register for one of our guided walks to learn more about the project. We appreciate your patience as we work to make Whychus Creek healthier for us all!

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