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Phase one: Arboretum Waterway Maintenance and Enhancement Project

Phase one: Arboretum Waterway Maintenance and Enhancement Project
Photorealistic image of weirs along the east end of the Arboretum waterway. Elevation changes, weirs and a pump will keep the waterway water moving and help prevent the growth of duckweed and algae.

Original post date: March 22, 2016
Updated September 14, 2016 with revised project start date*.

What we call the Arboretum Waterway is actually a large pond that is dammed on both ends. This nutrient-rich pond – home to both our campus’s recycled water and excess stormwater runoff – is loved for its seasonal beauty even in spite of the conditions that sometimes encourage unsightly duckweed and algae growth. To improve the overall aesthetics of this iconic part of our campus environment and combat the rapid growth of both these naturally occurring, water-loving organisms, we need to improve the water’s flow. With that said, we are excited to announce that in February (2017)*, phase one of our Waterway improvement project is scheduled to begin!

Phase one, of what we believe will be a total of four phases, begins at the far east end of the Waterway, and ends near Wyatt Deck, just past the redwood grove. In order to create flow in this part of the Waterway, we will introduce small elevation changes via weirs –  barriers across the water that alter its flow and create movement (see middle area of the photo above). The highest weir will be constructed near the east end of the Waterway and a large pump will be built to recirculate the water.

In February, this project will kick off with the creation of a small dam near Wyatt Deck to separate the water in the phase one area from the rest of the Waterway. The aquatic wildlife (turtles, fish, etc.) will be moved to Lake Spafford before the construction starts. Then, the east end will be drained, given time to dry out, and dredged to remove excess sediment. The elevation changes necessary for the weirs to function properly will be engineered, the weirs constructed, the waterway banks strengthened, and then finished with newly planted wetland vegetation.

But wait! There’s more! In conjunction with the Waterway improvements, we will also be renovating the pathway on the south side of this area to meet ADA requirements and improve its quality. Look for the brick pathway that begins in the Arboretum GATEway Garden to extend all the way to the T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove.

Both the weirs and new paths are currently scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. This phase of the Waterway project is made possible through deferred maintenance funds from campus.

To stay informed about this project and its progress, as well as future phases of the Arboretum’s Waterway improvement project, please be sure you are signed up to receive The Leaflet, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s e-newsletter.

Originally posted March 22, 2016  |  Katie Hetrick, Director of Marking and Communications

*This project was rescheduled to start in February instead of August at the request of the awarded contractor.