An interdisciplinary group of students formulated a plan for stabilization of the bed of Snow Creek in Walnut, CA.
As part of the plant to re-vision the creek, I proposed a boardwalk whose path is exactly parallel to the current streambed. The boardwalk is raised ten feet above the creek-- exactly the same elevation as the sidewalk along the street. A pedestrian may literally step off the sidewalk into the canopy of trees, for a view of the creek below.
The shape of the boardwalk records the shape of the stream at the time of construction. Over the years, one can know exactly how much the channel has shifted by comparing the current channel position to the boardwalk. The boardwalk thus provides a monitoring mechanism for scientific use.
The raised walkway also makes it possible to increase access to the park while minimizing disturbance to sensitive wildlife habitat. The design solution ties together physical, social, cultural, and ecological considerations, and potentially saves 12 million gallons in irrigation annually.