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Arroyo Burro Restoration at Hidden Valley ParkCreeks

The Creeks Division is in the design phase of a restoration project along Arroyo Burro at Hidden Valley Park. Construction is anticipated to begin in late summer/fall 2018.

The 2.8 acre project site is currently in a degraded state, with hundreds of feet of pipe and wire revetment in the creek and on the creek banks, and extensive areas of invasive non-native species. 

Pipe and wire revetments that were installed the creek in the 1960s to control bank erosion have become obsolete as the creek has meandered around them in many places and buried them in others. 

Active areas of erosion result in increased turbidity levels, which can result in poor water quality for fish and other aquatic organisms. Cape ivy has colonized other riparian areas and contributes to further bank instability.  Cape ivy is impeding the growth of willow trees and native ground cover on the banks and flood plain by covering the canopy and ground and preventing the growth of new saplings.

Other non-natives including English ivy, periwinkle, and ice plant have invaded the site. These non-native species are disrupting the natural ecology and food web in this system. Native plants have co-evolved with native wildlife, and provide better food sources, shelter, and breeding habitat than non-natives. 

Additionally, the City is considering replacing the chain link fence on the creek bank at the playground park with one that blends better with the natural area. This fence would be set back about 12 feet further from the top of the creek bank, and the picnic tables would be moved to other spots around the playground.

Key components of the restoration project include:

  • Removal of 450 linear feet of pipe and wire revetment
  • Bio-technical bank stabilization where pipe and wire revetment is removed
  • Removal of non-native vegetation over a 2.8 acre area, including cape ivy, English ivy, periwinkle, ice plant
  • Removal of 18 non-native large trees:  14 shamel ash and 4 blue gum (Eucalyptus)
  • Restoration of a diverse community of native riparian and upland plants
  • Protection and avoidance of existing natural resources
  • Replacement of playground park fence further from creek bank

For more information on this project, please contact Tim Burgess at (805) 897-1912 or TBurgess@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
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