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A portion of Hamm Creek runs through a 12.7-acre City of Seattle property being developed as a public employee training campus. The linear creek channel was constructed about 30 years ago is a low-gradient stream fed largely by piped spring water and surrounding storm water runoff from a highly urban industrial / residential neighborhood.

2003 - 2004

2003 - 2004
Project name
Hamm Creek: streambank stabilization and stream buffer restoration
south Seattle
City of Seattle Parks Department, SVR Design (landscape architecture firm)
C. Self, Q. Dayhoff, R. Borton, M. Buckingham (UW Tacoma; Environmental Science), S. Osborne (UW Seattle; Forest Resources)
Site description
a 370-foot stretch of a constructed linear channel of Hamm Creek characterized by low physical complexity and streamside vegetation dominated by young deciduous native trees and an abundance of a few non-native species.
Restoration challenge
Clients wished to increase the diversity of physical habitat structure in the stream channel, stabilize the streambank, and create a diverse native plant assemblage alongside the stream to promote habitat and streambank protection, with the eventual goal of allowing limited public access along a trail for nature study and interpretation.
Restoration approach
UW-REN students, working with local community activists, removed non-native species from the riparian zone. Bioengineering with native plants was used alongside physical strategies to stabilize the streambank. Native trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbs were added along with mechanical barriers and mulch for weed control with a focus on species to (1) rapidly establish a shade canopy to control reinvasion by non-native species, (2) promote eventual succession to a mature evergreen forested wetland, and (3) create structural diversity in the stream channel and with vegetation along the stream for habitat.