Grant-funded project helps protect park and neighborhood, may remove 110 properties from floodplain
Work will soon begin in the far northeastern portion of Garden of the Gods Park to construct a large stormwater detention and sediment collection facility. The facility will serve to protect Garden of the Gods Park, Rock Ledge Ranch and downstream neighborhoods by significantly reducing the risk of flooding along Camp Creek downstream of the site in large storm events.
After construction of the detention facility is complete, it is expected that about 110 properties along the 31st Street corridor can be removed from the FEMA regulatory floodplain. Owners of properties removed from the FEMA floodplain will have an option to carry flood insurance at a reduced rate, but will no longer be required by the federal government to carry flood insurance.
Several areas along Camp Creek are still at risk for flash flooding and construction of the flood mitigation facility to support previous downstream channel stabilization efforts allow us to continue to make significant headway in our ongoing recovery efforts following the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012. The Waldo Canyon Fire created an increased risk for flash flooding along Camp Creek and North and South Douglas creek watersheds. City officials worked to identify and obtain funding for flood mitigation efforts along both watersheds.
In the fall of 2013, the City of Colorado Springs launched the Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Project that involved significant community-wide participation to thoughtfully plan short-term and long-term solutions to protect the Camp Creek corridor from flooding and erosion to improve public safety.
Preservation of iconic park view from the Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center:
Because preserving the park’s iconic view while protecting it and downstream communities from flooding is a key goal, the project will blend into the natural environment. When complete, nearly all of the dam will be covered with soil and planted with native grasses and shrubs similar to the existing vegetation on the site. Please refer to the renderings of current and future images of the area.
The project will take approximately six months to complete. Construction work will not impact traffic in Garden of Gods Parks and the Foothills Trail is expected to remain open throughout the majority of the construction process. You may see construction vehicles traveling along 30th Street to deliver materials and haul off a portion of the soil excavated to form the reservoir.
Nearby trail information:
- The Foothills Trail will be reconstructed along the eastern side of the project area, but is expected to remain open throughout the majority of the construction process.
- The Dakota Trail will be reconstructed over the project dam, restoring the connection to the Foothill Trail.
How the flood mitigation facility will work:
During high flow events, the flood mitigation facility will temporarily store a portion of the Camp Creek floodwaters, releasing the water downstream at a lower flow rate over a period of time to reduce flooding. High flow events from burns scars carry large volumes of sediment. The facility will include an area to capture sediment, improving water quality before the water is released into the channel that runs through the park, Rock Ledge Ranch and the 31st Street corridor.
In fall 2018, the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department conducted an archaeological excavation in an area near the planned flood mitigation facility site focusing on a landfill associated with Colorado Springs Founder General William J. Palmer. With completion of the archaeological excavation, and continued study of artifacts that were recovered, construction of the flood mitigation facility can proceed as planned.
For more information about the detention facility visit: www.ColoradoSprings.gov/GoGdetention. For information on the Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Plan and complimentary projects visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/CampCreek.