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The City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a 194 square mile area with 24 drainage basins making it uniquely positioned to capitalize on existing infrastructure. The City’s Stormwater Enterprise is introducing Complete Creeks as an opportunity to include Educational and Recreational components into the design of stormwater infrastructure projects while the Division meets its Intergovernmental Agreement obligations with Pueblo County.


Increase awareness about stormwater runoff, reduce the amount of urban stormwater runoff, create innovative multi-use opportunities, and introduce students to the natural environment.

Educational Components

Outdoor classroom activities educate students and citizens on the topics of urban stormwater runoff.  The programs are aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards and compliment STEM and STEAM programming.  Living Classrooms are a collaborative effort between Public/Private partners that lend their expertise and engage K-12 and college students in environmental education.

The following are examples of Biological, Chemical, and Physical outdoor classroom activities:

  • Best Management Practices (BMP)
    • Bioswales
    • Rain Gardens    
  • Erosion Control Demonstration Area
  • Flash Flood Safety          
  • Pollution: Point and Non-Point Sources
  • Stream Bank Stabilization – willow transplant
  • Stream Assessments – watershed health
  • Water Quality Observations – Wetlands
  • Water Quality Testing (Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Temperature, Turbidity)
  • Biological assessment (Macroinvertebrates Sampling)

Recreational Components

Complete Creeks activate waterway corridors as safe and convenient multi-modal transportation for bicyclists and pedestrians.  Complete Creek infrastructure features include grade separated channels and underpasses that allow water to flow in the lower channel and multi-modal travel on the higher ground.  Grade separated infrastructure reduces conflicts with motorized vehicles and provides safe passage to bicyclists and pedestrians.  Navigable Drop Structures provide connectivity and safe passage to our urban bike lanes as well as to parks & trails, and open spaces.  Many new miles of unique multi-use trails will be created within our basins and these locations will be recreation destinations for a variety of users of all ages and abilities.


The veins of Colorado Springs

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