According to a news release from the city of Colorado Springs, a study to develop a plan to protect and restore the Monument Creek watershed will start in July thanks to a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant/Disaster Recovery planning grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

According to the release, the grant will be used to guide sustainable restoration of the flood- and fire-affected reaches of Monument Creek and its major tributaries with the key goal of improving and developing the Monument Creek watershed’s resilience against future flood and fire-related degradation of the ecosystem and infrastructure.

The Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District, with major support from the city of Colorado Springs, submitted the grant application in late January to provide flood restoration master planning for the watershed in response to the floods that occurred in September 2013, the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 and the Black Forest Fire in 2013, the release stated. The work will assess impacts to the stream corridors and develop conceptual plans for mitigation of flooding and sedimentation, and restoration of the corridors in an effort to reduce future expenditures for repair of critical infrastructure and risk to life and property.

“This is as an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively with the U.S. Air Force Academy to plan and restore drainages damaged due to increased upstream runoff,” said Tim Mitros, development review and stormwater manager for the city of Colorado Springs, in the release.

“The Monument Creek Watershed is the only watershed within the 927-square-mile Fountain Creek Watershed that does not have a Flood Restoration Master Plan either completed or in process,” the release read.

 The study will cost $650,000 and will be funded as follows:

  • $300,000 – Grant from Colorado Department of Local Affairs;
  • $150,000 – City of Colorado Springs grant match;
  • $50,000 – El Paso County grant match;
  • $50,000 – Air Force Academy grant match;
  • $50,000 – Colorado Springs Utilities grant match; and
  • $50,000 – In-kind support from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District’s Technical Advisory Committee, Colorado Department of Transportation and Black Forest Together, Inc.

The city’s grant match amount of $150,000 will be funded through the 2015 stormwater budget. The Master Plan will include Monument Creek from Palmer Lake to the confluence with Fountain Creek. The project is anticipated to start in July 2015 with completion in June 2016.  Master plans are to guide communities towards prioritization and implementation of stream rehabilitation and restoration projects that protect life and property from flood hazards.