The 850-acre Bijou Park Creek Watershed extends from Heavenly Mountain Resort in the upper watershed and encompasses Ski Run Boulevard, neighborhoods off Glenwood and Blackwood Avenues and the Whole Foods Restoration area before connecting with Lake Tahoe at Ski Run Marina. Bijou Park Creek traverses the watershed beginning at the intersection of Ski Run Blvd and Needle Peak Rd and runs North exacerbating flooding in numerous areas including around Lloyd, Bill, Herbert, Blackwood, and Shirley Avenues. Flood waters contain nutrients and sediment from the watershed mobilized by runoff through residential and commercial properties and roadways, before discharging into the Ski Run Marina. Restoration and enhancement of the Bijou Park Creek Watershed has long been considered an important aspect of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (Project #01-01-01-0086). Although the watershed was long-ago developed and includes a high concentration of residential and commercial properties, the City, the California Tahoe Conservancy, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and other local agencies and environmental groups have identified improvements to the watershed as a high priority.
In April 2019, the Wildscape Engineering, Inc. Team (Team) that includes Northwest Hydraulics Consultants (NHC), Nevada Tahoe Conservation District (NTCD), and Catalyst Environmental Solutions with support from Insite Land Surveys was contracted by the City of South Lake Tahoe to provide engineering design and planning services for the Bijou Park Creek Restoration Project. This is the second phase of a three phase effort by the City of South Lake Tahoe to address water quality and flooding issues in the Bijou Park Creek Watershed. The first phase, Bijou Park Creek Stream Environment Zone (SEZ) Restoration included water quality and flood mitigation efforts in the commercial zone adjacent to Lake Tahoe and Ski Run Boulevards and was completed in 2018.
Through the summer of 2019 Wildscape gathered preliminary data for design and nhc conducted a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the watershed. Using these findings 30% designs were developed during the Winter and Spring of 2020. The first Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting was conducted on April 17th to gather input from a diverse group of stakeholders and landowners. A second TAC meeting was held September 22nd, 2020 to review the preliminary 30% design plans and a City Planning Commission meeting was held October 8th, 2020. Currently feedback from the second TAC meeting and the City Planning meeting are being incorporated into the conceptual design plans before they will be finalized.
Proposed projects address the two main goals of water quality and flood mitigation. Projects include expanding and building basins, redirecting stream flow away from flood hotspots, replacing deteriorated stormwater infrastructure, and capturing sediment from the sanding routes and other sources.