Strawberry Creek Ecological Stabilization Project

Confluence Map

Formally known as "Slow It, Spread It, Sink It"

Project Leads: Aysha Massell, Associate Professor Kara Nelson

Sponsor: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

TGIF Grant: $47,840

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location

2013 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This Ecological Stabilization Project will help Strawberry Creek regain ecological stability by applying basic Low Impact Development (LID) strategies and habitat restoration measures. Grant funding will finance the design phase of the project.

Goals: The primary goal of this project is to demonstrate how LID can benefit natural ecosystems and human systems alike.
This goal will be achieved through 2 Phases:

  1. The installation and development of Rainwater Tanks and an Overflow Garden in Dwinelle Plaza.
    1. This phase of the project will benefit the campus by diverting a portion of storm water from Strawberry Creek, thereby reducing erosion and infrastructure damage on campus. The water harvesting system also serves to beautify the landscape with an added native plant habitat. Outreach and education will provide inspiration for the effectiveness of LID techniques.
    2. Success will be measured on total amount of water slowed or diverted by the rainwater tanks and overflow gardens.
  2. The initial development of a comprehensive restoration design for the confluence of the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek.
    1. This project will address the loss of biodiversity in urban and urban/wildland interface habitats that are becoming overwhelmed by non-native invasive plant and tree species.
    2. Success will be measured based on assessment of biological and physical parameters surrounding Strawberry Creek and amount of visitations/interest to the project sites.

Project Website

TGIF Blog Posts about Strawberry Creek 

Project Photos

Project Implementation Plan



Project Leads

Time Frame

Project Scoping & Data Review

Review available and pertinent studies for the project watershed
Primary: Aysha

Support: Jackie, Junice, Pete, ESA PWA
July 10, 2013

Topographic Survey

Conduct a topographic survey to develop detailed base map of existing site conditions.

Primary: Pete, ESA PWA

Support: Aysha, Jackie, Junice

June 13, 2013 (field topographic survey/workshop)

July 10, 2013 (AutoCAD 3D document)
Geomorphic Assessment and Basis of Design

Conduct a geomorphic assessment of the site to develop a basis of design for potential habitat enhancement and bank stabilization measures.
Primary: Pete, ESA PWA

Support: Aysha, Jackie, Junice

June 13, 2013 (geomorphic assessment workshop)

July 10, 2013 (final document outlining basis of design)
Engineering Design & Construction Documents

The student team and design consultant will review and utilize existing available hydrologic data in order to establish design flow rates and conditions.

Primary:Aysha, Jackie, ESA PWA

Support: Junice, Pete


July 30, 2013 (30% design draft)

October 31, 2013 (60% design draft)

December 31, 2013 (100% design)
Permitting Support

EH&S will lead the permitting effort Review of project descriptions, implementation impacts, design graphics, and construction methods necessary for inclusion in the permit applications.
Primary persons responsible: Aysha, Tim Pine (EH&S), ESA PWA

Support from: Junice, Pete, Jackie

December 31, 2013

Implementation Funding

Pursue several funding sources, primarily grants for specific implementation elements such as trails, revegetation, or channel grade control construction.
Primary: Junice, Aysha

Support: Pete, Jackie, ESA PWA

Ongoing dependent on grant deadlines


Project Coordination

Working sessions with EH&S and the design consultant; stakeholder meetings as needed with additional UC staff.
Primary: Aysha, ESA PWA, Tim Pine (EH&S)

Support: Jackie, Junice, Pete
Ongoing throughout project


Build awareness about the project and the creek in the campus and larger community of Berkeley. Set up a blog and facebook pages, and conduct outreach to various media. Develop educational outreach materials to disseminate
Primary: Jackie, Aysha

Support: Junice, Pete

Ongoing throughout project

2013-2014 Accomplishments

  • Held a Topographic survey and geomorphic assessment workshop
Free Workshop: Topographic Survey and Geomorphic Assessment of Strawberry Creek
Time: Thursday June 13 from 10 am – 12 pm
Location: Strawberry Creek - Confluence of north and south forks
Get hands-on experience in topographic surveying and geomorphic assessment in this workshop at the confluence of the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek. Guided by engineers and scientists from ESA PWA, we will be using state of the art technology to survey longitudinal profiles and cross sections of Strawberry Creek at the confluence of the north and south forks. We will also be assessing the sediment transport, erosion, and migration of these reaches of the creek in response to surrounding environmental and urban changes. Data gathered from this workshop will be used for the conceptual design, engineering design and analysis, and permitting for a larger restoration project at this site. This workshop is hosted by the Strawberry Creek Ecological Stabilization Project, which is composed of UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty partnered with ESA PWA, a leading consultant in river restoration. This project is funded by The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF).
This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
You can stay up-to-date with project progress and future events at


  • Input field data into AutoCAD in order to develop a 3D model of the site.
  • Conducted historical research, analysis, and modeling of the watershed to determine peak flows.
  • Held design sessions to solidify the best design scenario.
  • Created and regularly update the project blog at 
  • Outreach brochure was completed.
  • Outreach to professors and grad students is ongoing (would like more classes to use creek site as outdoor lab).
  • 30% of design documents were completed in mid-September.
  • Produced drafts of three permits required by state regulatory agencies .
  • Applied for a number of different grants, including from TGIF and the Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund.
  • Expanded objectives to include more community outreach, particularly to students in Berkeley High School.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.