East Bay Regional Park District │ Tilden Nature Area In-Stream Sediment Basin & Wetland Restoration

Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley, CA

This project design converted existing wetland ponds into red-legged frog habitat and integrated a protected historic drinking fountain associated with the Civilian Conservation Corps Wildcat Camp.
This project rehabilitated an in-stream sediment catch basin in Wildcat Creek and enhanced a wooden weir to protect the banks from erosion.
After a lengthy absence, Western pond turtles and California red-legged frogs returned to the site within 30 days of construction completion.
Project Description

The Tilden Nature Area is rich in cultural and biological resources and provides important flood management, vital habitat, and exceptional recreational and educational opportunities for East Bay residents. However, its sensitive habitat included an in-stream sediment basin with reduced capacity and wetlands in need of restoration.  

NCE’s interdisciplinary team restored capacity of the sediment basin and at the same time revitalized wetlands to create aquatic habitat for red-legged frogs. This included first assessing the nature area biology, hydraulics and hydrology, aquatic resources, geomorphology, and cultural resources to inform restoration planning. NCE prepared design plans, specifications, and cost estimates for the chosen restoration plan and obtained regulatory permits. The final design incorporated fish passage, revegetation and landscape plantings along the creek, landscape and habitat features for species of interest, and a boardwalk and trail system to protect wildlife and sensitive habitat. Unique cultural resources, including a historic “bubbler,” were integrated into the design to maximize user experience and interpretive opportunities.