San Diego County, California

Pilot Project – Grape Day Creek Restoration

Updates will be added as this project progresses.

Grape Day Park Pilot Project Escondido Creek Restoration

TECC has been recommended to receive a grant of $355,000 to develop preliminary designs (30% design level) to restore Escondido Creek through Grape Day Park. This project will illustrate how the 7-mile concrete flood control channel could look and function if restored. The 30% design level is considered a significant engineering milestone, as it enables the larger project costs to be estimated once a design is rendered to 30%. The project will be conducted in partnership with Encuentros Leadership Academy and the City of Escondido.

Ultimate project outcomes could include increased parkland, recreational opportunities, economic opportunities, and real estate values. Similar projects elsewhere have improved the quality of life and provided economic opportunities for residents, and one key component of this project is an analysis to evaluate the economic benefit of a restored Escondido Creek in its natural state.
The project will begin in the summer of 2017 and extend over two years. Much of the work is technical in nature, as we must first fully understand how a restored channel will function (convey flow, water quality, ecological processes, etc.) within a watershed context. Consultants will review currently available studies and data, filling data gaps as needed with additional research, mapping, and data collection. Engineers and hydrologists will then develop hydrologic, hydraulic, sediment transport, and geomorphic models or analytic tools, which will be used to assess different design scenarios. Alternate scenarios will be refined through a public process in coordination with the City of Escondido’s Neighborhood Services program to tap its network of residents participating in neighborhood groups.
Unique to this project, TECC has partnered with the Encuentros Leadership Academy to implement a program of Conservation Fellowships where young people from central Escondido will shadow the project from start to finish to learn STEM education methodologies from professionals working in the real world.  Fellows will attend technical meetings, accompany professionals in fieldwork, and participate in project activities.