The city is taking inventory and developing strategies to address the problems of erosion and flooding.

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - City of Tigard stormwater specialist Curtis Clark walks along Krueger Creek, where the city has built dams to manage erosion.While Tualatin prepares to dive into updating its master plan for parks and recreation, neighboring Tigard is getting ready to wrap up a year's worth of work on its own master planning for the city's stormwater system.

The city started its master planning work last June, and it is scheduled for completion this June. Especially in a region that experiences as much rain as northwestern Oregon — and last month, Portland's record for rainfall in February was shattered — a comprehensive and functional stormwater system is vital to reduce the risk of urban flooding and property damage caused by landslides and erosion.

For the past few weeks, city crews have been building a series of small dams along Krueger Creek in Jack Park, where mud and silt carried downstream from nearby Bull Mountain has been accumulating in wetlands and along a stretch of trail off 124th Avenue. The dams are meant to mimic those created by beavers, keeping the creek in check and sequestering sediment.

It's a new type of project for Tigard, said stormwater utility worker Curtis Clark — "more or less a prototype," he remarked, although he said Clean Water Services has done similar projects in the past.

"We're trying to figure out a way to stop the erosion," explained Clark's co-worker David Howes.

Tigard doesn't have a recent stormwater master plan, according to city spokeswoman Marissa Grass, although it did create a plan specifically for the River Terrace area, which was annexed in 2012 and is currently being developed as a large new residential neighborhood.

Among the features city officials are excited about in River Terrace are stormwater "facilities" designed to look like landscaping features, so that the ponds and marshes where runoff will flow serve as additional green space of sorts.

On the other side of Bull Mountain, though, projects like the one on Krueger Creek represent part of the city's efforts to control stormwater runoff.

"This is an example of the type of issue we see in Tigard," Grass said.

Tigard City Engineer Lori Faha said future projects, akin to the Krueger Creek work, will be outlined in the stormwater master plan. In the next few months, information about some of those proposed projects will be put on the city's website and public feedback on them will be collected, she said Wednesday afternoon.

Faha said Tigard's approach to its stormwater plan is a little bit unusual.

"Most of our stormwater system in Tigard is open channels — it's the streams themselves," Faha explained.

Instead of focusing on metal and concrete infrastructure, she said, the stormwater master plan will focus heavily on issues with erosion and flooding along streams and creeks in Tigard.

"This is a little more about kind of these greenways and creek systems and getting a handle on managing them better, recognizing the value they are to the city," said Faha.

Tualatin's parks and recreation master plan from 1983 is still current, and it's the document the city intends to update by mid-2018.

Tigard's stormwater plan is even older, according to Faha, dating back to 1980.

"Typically, for your various assets, you want to update a master plan every five to 10 years at the most," she noted.

Tigard's most recent parks master plan was completed in 2009, and a recreation program study was done in 2015. A parks master plan update is expected to be included in the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - A newly installed dam on Krueger Creek, in Tigard's Jack Park, helps control the flow of the creek and prevent large amounts of sediment from spilling onto a walking path downstream.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
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