East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership

What is Stream Restoration?
Stream restoration brings back native plants and animals along the corridor and protects the health of watersheds.

In 1998, water quality in at least 40 percent (by length) of assessed streams in the United States was listed as impaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (EPA 2000). Reports of the status of freshwater species are also dismal: about a fourth of native freshwater fish species (Williams et al. 1989; Stein and Flack 1997), a half of native freshwater mussel species (Williams et al. 1993), a fourth of native amphibians (Stein and Flack 1997), and a third of native crayfish species (Taylor et al. 1996) are imperiled or extinct. Aquatic species are not only valued natural resources—they are indicators of water quality. The continued rapid decline in aquatic biodiversity (Ricciardi and Rasmussen 1999) places great responsibility on those who work in streams.

What does Stream Restoration Involve?

Channel Reconstruction

This includes activities that restore the channel to one that supports clean water, diverse habitat, and supports a wide and deep water table.

Bank Stabilization

This includes removing Detroit riprap encased in the banks, regrading these banks to a stable slope, and planting native seed and plants to ensure the long term stability of the soil. This work reduces sediment loading, improving water quality, improving and increasing the riparian zone, and welcoming native flora and fauna.

Habitat Development

This is key to inviting back the insects and animals natural to the riparian and upland areas. Native trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs are planted to welcome all kinds of indigenous species.

Bill Vanderpoel, Project Manager

Get Involved! Contact Us Today.

Contact Heather to get involved!
Latest News on Stream Restoration

Overview of the East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership

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Our mission is helping people help the land by promoting projects through education to further sustainable use of natural resources, while balancing the needs of agriculture and urban growth. This project is the catalyst for many of the district’s community events where hands-on learning leads to seeds of stewardship that we hope will grow into conservationists of the future. 

The East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership is an extensive stream habitat improvement project along a nearly one-mile stretch of East Plum Creek, a central wildlife corridor, as it passes through the Historic Lowell Ranch in Southern Castle Rock. The importance of East Plum Creek is due to its position in the central wildlife corridor that connects thousands of preserved acres of National Forest, State Parks, State Wildlife Areas, and Douglas County Open Space. Impacts to East Plum Creek do affect the Plum Creek and Chatfield Watersheds. 

This project aims to restore the creeks appropriate geomorphology and hydrology while improving water quality and reducing sediment loading. Native grass, decrease in noxious weeds and Russian Olive trees will improve and expand the habitat for aquatic and wildlife along this important corridor.

The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation’s (CALF) Historic Lowell Ranch is a private working, agricultural education center. Lowell Ranch was originally homesteaded in 1878 and members of the Lowell family have occupied and owned the ranch since then. CALF encourages a high-level of sound stewardship practices including livestock and gardening practices. The property is a conservation easement held by the Douglas Land Conservancy and was designated a Historic Landmark by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners in 2010; this is a special place. Please note that Lowell Ranch is open to the public during special events or by appointment only.

Below one can find details within the links about the historic reports on the site, current restoration work and conservation practices, engineering plans, partner affiliations key to our success, community events at the site, and photo presentations on all of the above.
Please send inquiries about the partnership, to get involved, or to purchase native plants and seed to our District Manager Heather@DouglasConserves.org.


  • Douglas County Public Works Department – permits, contractors, planning and engineering efforts and guidance, educational outreach, and funding assistance 
  • Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources – planting and propagation efforts and guidance, funding assistance
  • Board of Douglas County Commissioners – support for conservation practices via funding assistance
  • Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) – access to Lowell Ranch, support of our project and conservation goals, plant products from seed, and plant materials on site
  • Colorado State Forest Service Nursery – provide quality native seedling trees, shrubs, and grasses and support of conservation
  • Douglas Land Conservancy – ongoing support of our conservation practices
  • The Bees Waggle – pollinator speakerships, teaching engagements, and planting support
  • Fox Creek Elementary ECO Action Team – planting support and youth stewardship-leader perspectives
  • Volunteers – support and continued interest in conservation practices, planting support, stewardship
  • Douglas County School District Sustainability – continued support of conservation practices, planting support on site, professional development for teachers on site, student field trips
  • Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) – funding assistance and support of community engagements and conservation practice
  • Colorado Youth Corps Association and the Mile High Youth Corps – funding assistance through the corps program and support of conservation practice
  •  Highlands Ranch STEM School – Drone study for conservation efforts and youth stewardship-leader perspectives
  • Douglas County Master Gardeners – planting support, teaching engagements, and support of conservation practices