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Posted on: February 3, 2020

Creek "Makeover" Continues

Sand Creek Restoration

As many Sand Creek trail users are aware, a portion of the creek received a habitat restoration makeover in 2019. Funded by state and federal grants, the project was spearheaded by Coon Creek Watershed District in partnership with the City of Coon Rapids. The first phase of the rehabilitation occurred between Xeon Street and Lions Park. At the onset of the rehabilitation work, many trees were cleared and heavy equipment was brought into the site. A portion of the creek was reshaped to slow down erosion and new native shrubs and trees were planted along the creek bed.

This winter a second portion of Sand Creek in Coon Rapids is receiving a similar restoration makeover. This stretch is from the railroad tracks eastward past Olive Street to the next pedestrian bridge at Kumquat. This project will use innovative creek design, which includes several bends and curves, known as meanders, to help slow down the speed of the water. First, there will be tree clearing and excavation of the floodplain area adjacent to the creek for better holding capacity of floodwater. The project will also include installation of habitat features in the channel, stabilization of erosion along the banks, and tree removal for native plantings.

The reshaping process will occur in 2020 and 2021, with the major reshaping work happening this February and March. There will be a break during the summer to allow the creek to continue to flow throughout the project. The exact timing of the reconstruction will depend on weather and the contractor's schedule. 

Artist rendering of the Sand Creek Habitat Makeover with a winding creek

A restoration schematic used in the Fall 2019 open house for neighbors adjacent to the project.

For more information go to, call the Coon Creek Watershed District at 763-755-0975, or email Operations & Maintenance Coordinator, Jon Janke, at

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