Gorgas Run Stream Restoration

Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia, PA, sees over one-million annual visitors biking its rugged trails, picnicking across vast meadows, and hiking along streams and creeks. Gorgas Run, a tributary of the Wissahickon Creek that passes through the 2,000-acre park, had incised and widened over time, requiring intensive restoration and preservation. The stormwater runoff resulting from urbanization had caused bank erosion and sedimentation concerns, impacted the habitat for fish and other wildlife, and damaged vital public infrastructure such as bridges, outfalls, and manholes for storm and sanitary sewers. Working closely with the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds, AKRF conducted a detailed assessment of the channel network and its contributory watershed to identify opportunities for sediment reduction and in-stream habitat improvement. We developed a restoration plan for 1,800 feet of stream channel; permitted the project with USACE, PADEP, and other government entities; and provided construction inspection for the installation of complex natural systems.


Employing biomimicry strategies, AKRF established herbaceous plant pockets within the boulder channel bars and imbricated boulder walls to mimic channel surfaces that might otherwise vegetate through self-colonization.

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