Grant #268

One Truckee River Brodhead Park Restoration Project: Phase II

Project Description:

OTR is proposing to commence Phase II of the Project, which directly complements the effort to develop a Framework Plan for the urban stretch of the Truckee River within the Reno-Sparks, Nevada, urban core. The OTR Vegetation Management Master Planning Steering Committee and the City of Reno selected Brodhead Park to be the Project site because the park is: 1) the first location where a “Portland Loo” was installed as part of the OTR River Restroom Project; 2) an area of focused human services outreach with unsheltered river-users, in partnership with the Washoe County and Karma Box Project (Karma Box) River Steward Program and Built for Zero by-name list; and 3) an area where Karma Box has been able to work with the unsheltered river-users to set expectations of behavior related to increasing the care of the park, Loo, and the Truckee River. Brodhead remains an area of focus for OTR, as the OTR Partnership works to complete its prioritized objectives. The City of Reno has been actively involved in Phase I of the Project, providing feedback on the design elements (during three in-person meetings) and offering its resources for implementation. The City is interested in continuing this process at Brodhead and then continuing Framework Plan implementation at other City of Reno Parks, making this Project the first of many implementation-level plans that complement the Framework Plan.

The Project will be completed in three phases.

  • Phase I (nearly completed) developed a 30% (conceptual) restoration design and Basis of Design Report, in coordination with OTR and the City of Reno. Agencies provided input on design ideas and permitting needs, and the public was asked to provide input on river access. Phase I also created a preliminary implementation plan identifying potential sources of labor and materials (from OTR’s partners) for construction to streamline implementation efforts and costs
  • Phase II (current phase) will begin with a topographic survey of the project area and will then develop the 60% restoration design and complete a refined cost estimate to take the project through final design and construction (Phase III). Phase II design will also provide clarity on the agency permits/approvals needed and further refine sources for materials for implementation (in coordination with OTR’s partners).
  • Phase III (future phase) will 1) develop the final restoration design and 2) cover restoration implementation, including site preparation, slope stabilization or bioengineering materials, plant materials, and labor for installation. Project installation will be collaborative, using government, nonprofit, and private resources available in the area. The estimated cost is $150K to $200K and depends on design elements, permitting requirements, materials/labor provided through the in-kind support, and the outcomes of Phase II. OTR will apply for remaining funds from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Conserve Nevada, and Laird Norton Family Foundation in 2022.

TMWA Benefit:

II. Watershed Improvements: The Project will create an implementable restoration plan to address critical water quality issues along the urban stretch of the Truckee River. The final restoration plan for the park will be directly implementable and address impaired water quality (turbidity, temperature). Establishment of riparian vegetation and bank stabilization implemented in this Project will reduce erosion and turbidity. Increased river shading will mitigate elevated water temperature to increase hydrological resiliency.

III. Local Stormwater Improvements: The Project will develop a restoration plan to establish riparian vegetation along the urban stretch of the Truckee River. The restoration plan for the park will identify vegetation species and bank stabilization measures that increase infiltration and capture stormwater runoff (and associated non-point source pollution) within the Project area. The restoration plan will also inform future bank stabilization projects.

IV. Re-Forestation and Re-Vegetation Projects: The Project will develop and implement a plan to establish riparian trees and groundcover along the urban stretch of the Truckee River. The proposed restoration plan will enhance riparian forest health along the river, increasing wildfire resilience and improving habitat.

VI. Stewardship and Environmental Awareness: During Phases I and II, OTR will engage with the local community to attract stakeholders in the neighborhood who will support the Project’s maintenance after implementation. Phase I solicited input from the local neighborhood on river access. Before development of 90% restoration design begins, another community input meeting will be held to obtain feedback on the 60% restoration design. Future implementation will engage the public through volunteer activities and outreach.

VII. Meet Multiple Objectives: The Project addresses multiple goals and objectives from the OTR

Management Plan (OTRM Plan) and prioritized action items that align with TRF’s funding priorities. This Project addresses OTRM Plan Goal 1: Ensure and protect water quality and ecosystem health in the Truckee River; OTRM Plan Objective 1.4: Create a rich and diverse vegetative ecosystem; OTRM Plan Objective 1.4.b: Create an approved vegetative species list to increase biodiversity and shading on lands along the Truckee River; and OTRM Plan Objective 1.4.c: Develop and implement a coordinated vegetation management plan along the river corridor. The Project will also meet the objectives and regulations of multiple agencies with jurisdiction within the Project area; regular coordination with agencies is critical to continued Project success.

VIII. Leverage Stakeholder Assets and Participation: The proposed restoration plan complements the development of the larger Framework Plan and associated tools. OTR’s vision for the Framework Plan (being developed through the BOR WaterSMART grant Project) is to create a document that is a guidebook for creating implementable restoration plans. By developing this pilot restoration implementation plan and executing that plan, the Project team will be able to put different techniques into practice to ensure the Framework Plan and tools are effective. This planning effort will capitalize on and grow existing partnerships. Through the OTR Framework Plan development effort, OTR has formed a vegetation management technical working group (TWG), which includes federal/local government, agency, non-profit, private industry, and local resident representatives. This TWG has been working to identify opportunities to share resources and seek funding to plan and implement restoration projects along the urban stretch of the Truckee River. The Project’s Phase I provided an opportunity to reinforce these partnerships and cultivate strong working relationships that have been indispensable to the Project and OTR’s larger Framework Plan thus far. Continuing these collaborations through the construction phase will be critical for OTR’s credibility in completing similar projects in the future. This proposed Project will leverage OTR’s existing vegetation management planning efforts. As a pilot Project, this effort will allow troubleshooting of restoration planning and implementation challenges, so that land managers can more quickly and cost-effectively execute future projects along the urban stretch of the Truckee River. Completing this Project in tandem with the Framework Plan development has helped ensure the Framework Plan serves as a catalyst for future restoration projects.