By: Matt Freitas, Program Manager

 

Take a drive from Truckee towards Brockway Summit—what sticks with you? The wide expanses of Martis Valley? Long vistas of the Sierra crest? Did you know you drove through a historic wetland as soon as you left downtown?

The area near the Truckee River Regional Park was once a large, vibrant wetland—replaced by roads, parking lots, and development. Yet pockets remain; fragmented and disconnected. They are part of the invisible watershed. We don’t typically notice them, but they’re important and they need our help.

TRWC works from the premise that nature and humanity can thrive together. So TRWC and a partnership of eight public and private landowners developed the Truckee Meadows Restoration Project. Designed to reestablish historic wetlands, enhance remnant wetlands, and reduce sedimentation into the Truckee River while providing for community interests.

After six years of planning, the first phase of construction was completed this past summer (2017) on the wetland area north of Brockway Road. Work included:

  • Restoration of hydrologic processes and topography of the wetland—reintroducing water to its surface and re-watering areas that had long been dry.
  • Reconfiguration of an irrigation pond—allowing its water to support both the wetlands and the golf course.
  • Enhancements to a seasonal drainage to the Truckee River—reducing erosion and improving water quality.

Before and after the Truckee Meadows Restoration Project at wetland area on Brockway Road. Photos taken from same location.

This means more and better urban habitat for our birds and frogs, as well as less sediment entering the Truckee River. For many, it has also made the invisible watershed…visible.

A drive on Brockway Road now prompts the viewer to notice water flowing across a renewed wetland—promising to spring to life a once overlooked portion of our watershed.

TRWC will continue construction in 2018 on the wetland area south of Brockway Road (Phase 2). Keep an eye on these sites to see how these restored wetlands reestablish over the next several years.

The Watershed Council leads the project in partnership with the Cascade Housing Association, Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency, Town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Donner Public Utilities District, Truckee-Donner Recreation and Parks District, Truckee Sanitary District, and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

In addition to funding from our partners, the project is funded by the donors of the TRWC, the California Department of Conservation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Community Foundation of Western Nevada, Truckee River Fund, Lahontan Community Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

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