Cooperatove Conservation Project
COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION CASE STUDY

Chester Creek Rehabilitation Project

Restoring habitat for silver salmon, migratory birds, and wild creatures in the heart of Alaska’s largest city.

Location: Far West Region: Alaska

Project Summary: An urban town-center development project has made conservation its top priority. The project's partners have restored an important natural resource for the people and animals who call the area “home.”
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Cassandra Stalzer, NRCS
Resource Challenge

The  Alaska Village Trailer Park, developed in the 1960’s, rerouted more than a quarter-mile of the once-vibrant Chester Creek and eliminated the functions of its surrounding floodplain.  The salmon stream that meandered through the trailer park site was channelized into an irrigation ditch.  Not only was the waterway severely damaged, but also the natural vegetation bordering the creek was destroyed and the wildlife habitat, including salmon passage and spawning areas, was extremely compromised.

Examples of Key Partners

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Municipality of Anchorage , Venture Development Group, Anchorage Waterways Council.

Results and Accomplishments

The old trailer park has been removed and extensive cleanup has been completed to bring the site back into environmental standards for new development.  More than 2,000 linear feet the stream has been re-aligned creating curves, pools, riffles, and a floodplain. Stream banks have been rehabilitated to reduce erosion, and plantings of native trees and plants, including more than 32,000 willow shrubs planted with volunteers from the Anchorage Waterways Council, are being completed this year.  This will be the second year that salmon have returned to this area of the city.

Innovation/Highlight

The Chester Creek Rehabilitation Project sets a new standard for prioritizing natural resource conservation in urban development through a model that incorporates a mix of public open spaces, a wide range of housing options, retail, commercial and community-use facilities all built with buffers between land uses, making for neighborhood-friendly communities.

Project Contact
Mark Pfeffer
CEO
Venture Development Group
425 G Street, Suite 210
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-646-4644
Crystal Leonetti
District Conservationist
NRCS
510 L Street Suite 280
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-271-2424 ext. 110
crystal.leonetti@ak.usda.gov
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