Creek restoration work set to begin

 

Last updated 7/19/2022 at Noon



Large equipment will be arriving at Creekside Park during the week of July 25, in preparation for work being done on Whychus Creek between the Locust Street bridge and Highway 20.

The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (UDWC) and the City of Sisters are partnering to restore areas on both sides of the creek and improve instream conditions for fish. Exclusion fencing will go up the week of July 25, with work slated to begin the week of August 1. Sisters residents may notice dump trucks hauling rocks and logs for use on the project. The materials are being moved from a Forest Service staging area on Three Creek Road to Elm Street and over to Creekside Park.

August through October, Whychus Creek won’t be accessible to the public from either side, with exclusion fencing keeping people a safe distance from the work. In August, habitat restoration to restore eroding streambanks, improve passage for fish, and create new habitat in the creek will be taking place. Four access points with steps will also be created to improve and consolidate access to the creek from the park and campground.

This work will culminate with construction of rustic fencing in the fall by a Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council youth crew. Planting of native riparian plants along the creek will be done by Sisters students and volunteers throughout September and October.

Creekside Campground will remain open during the work, but the hiker/biker campsites adjacent to the creek will be moved to other sites during construction. The pedestrian bridge over the creek between the park and the campground will remain open, perhaps closing for brief periods of time as necessitated by nearby work on the stream or banks.

The restoration work is being done by M&M Services, LLC, of Medford. Kris Knight, executive director of UDWC, told The Nugget, “They are a small family business very skilled in this type of stream restoration. They have previously done work in this area on Tumalo Creek and Camp Sherman’s Lake Creek.”

The project is estimated to cost about $300,000, to be paid with money from grants submitted by and awarded to the UDWC. That total also includes money for the fencing and native plants.

 

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