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Donkey Creek Daylighting and Estuary Restoration

Nakano Associates, in collaboration with Parametrix, designed daylighting and restoration plans for Donkey Creek, a salmon bearing stream flowing into South Puget Sound. The project removed a 350-foot-long culvert and replacing a section of road with a bridge. Creek and estuary improvements included stabilizing the stream bank against future erosion and improve the stream as a spawning habitat for Summer Chum Salmon. An accessible walking path along the creek and beneath the bridge will connect Donkey Creek Park with Harbor History Museum and the Austin Estuary Park. The trail includes seating areas and is bordered by northwest native plant material. Additionally the upper creek sides were revegetated with northwest native trees and shrubs.

Sustainability Strategies

As a habitat restoration project, every aspect of the Donkey Creek project was designed with ecological stewardship and sustainability in mind. By stabilizing the stream bank and planting native vegetation, the project works toward reestablishing the native ecosystem and biodiversity. Existing native vegetation guided the selection of plant material. Site furniture and interpretive signage are located to maximize views and highlight natural features in such a way that visitors are educated about the importance of salmon runs and healthy streams.

Location: Gig Harbor, Washington

Client: City of Gig Harbor

Civil Engineer: Parametrix


Environmental Project of the Year, American Public Works Association (APWA), Washington Chapter, 2013