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Diamond Hills Park Stream Restoration Project
Current Progress
- Construction is complete, and the project is now in the monitoring and maintenance phase to ensure stream construction is stable and vegetation is properly established.

-The Diamond Hills Project was one of four projects in Christiansburg to be awarded grant assistance from the Commonwealth of Virginia's Stormwater Local Assistance Fund. The amount granted to the Diamond Hills project totals $230,000.

Background
In December 2009, the Town of Christiansburg initiated the Town's Stream Preservation and Restoration Program. The focus of the program was the evaluation of the Town's urban watersheds and the application of stream restoration techniques to improve the function and water quality of degraded streams throughout the town. The program supports the Town Council's 2020 Vision of a "Green Community." The Diamond Hills Park Creek site was chosen by Town staff to be the Town's pilot project under the Stream Restoration Program. The Vision 2020 plan integrates recreational planning with the preservation and protection of natural resources. Accordingly, a recreational component was proposed for the Diamond Hills Project. 

Master Rendering
A considerable hurdle for the pilot project was to find potential funding sources other than Town revenues to design and construct the pilot project.

The Town of Christiansburg received an unsolicited Public-Private Educational Facilities (PPEA) proposal from Branch Highways, Inc. on October 30, 2010 for the design/build of the project. Under the PPEA proposal, the site would be restored to develop off-site stream compensation credits to mitigate for unavoidable impacts associated with an industrial pad development at Progress Park in Wythe County, Virginia. Under the proposal, Branch Highways would restore the Diamond Hills Park Creek at minimal costs to the Town, as the site will serve as compensation for stream impacts at Progress Park. After a review of the proposal, it was determined that the potential project would potentially integrate some recreational amenities and infrastructure improvements planned by the Town.

The Town initiated discussions with Branch Highways on December 20, 2010, to consider the feasibility of the project. After several meetings and negotiations, the Town proposed to move forward with the PPEA proposal. The Diamond Hills Park Stream Restoration Project will restore approximately 2,233 linear feet of impaired stream channel below Independence Boulevard that drains to Crab Creek. The stream is being designed and constructed in an alignment on the property using "natural stream channel design" techniques to create a channel with a natural appearance. The project involves extensive plantings and planning for a trail network that will have both recreational and educational benefits. 

Also be sure to scroll down to "Resources" at the bottom of this page to view printable copies of this information, as well as images of a typical stream restoration sequence, and more. 

Improper treatment of stormwater can affect an entire town or city. Groundwater aquifers must be replenished periodically and the easiest way to do this is to allow stormwater to soak into the ground. If water cannot soak through the soil due to impervious surfaces, it will run off into the local streams, rivers, and lakes. Polluted stormwater is not only unappealing, but it is dangerous to fish and plant life that require clean water. Runoff picks up and carries many contaminants from impervious surfaces, including litter, debris, pesticides, fertilizers, and even air pollutants that have fallen out of the air and settled on the ground. Stormwater runoff can negatively affect local water quality.

The Diamond Hills Park Stream Restoration Project will help the town integrate best management practices to reduce sediment loading.

Stream
When completed, the Diamond Hills Park will include a restored stream and wooded riparian area which will be protected in perpetuity as a "green space." Future plans include a trail network that may form a connection with additional recreational trail systems, as well as possible recreational amenities that may be determined at a future date.

Benefits of the Project:

  • Improves the function and water quality of degraded streams throughout the Town
  • Proves in-line with the Town's Vision 2020 plan
  • Helps to support compliance with the Town of Christiansburg's Municipal Separate Sewer Systems (MS4) permit
  • Potentially integrates infrastructure improvements planned by the Town
  • Offers valuable educational and recreational amenities
  • Provides sediment reductions to comply with requirements of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plan under development by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)