Glacier Creek Preserve Stream Rehabilitation/Restoration

Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District | Omaha, NE
aerial view of Glacier Creek preserve after restoration

Benesch worked with the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District to complete a stream and wetland bank instrument for an 80-acre parcel located near the Big Papio Creek. This project was completed in partnership with the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO) which owns the adjacent Allwine Prairie.

While the NRD was seeking bank credits for their projects with stream and wetland impacts, UNO was interested in the creation of a lowland area prairie ecosystem conducive to amphibian habitat. The two creeks on the property drain into the Big Papio Creek. Benesch scientists worked with historical survey data from 1856 in order to restore the creek and wetlands within the natural floodplain. Benesch completed all aspects of this project.

The site contained three tributaries to Big Papio Creek that were highly degraded from channelization and head cutting. Benesch engineers analyzed the hydrology of each watershed, analyzed the channel hydraulics and designed meandering two-stage channels with overflow into adjacent wetland pools. The raised stream profiles will be protected from further head cutting of Big Papillion Creek by baffled chute drop structures.

This project required the team to balance ecological restoration/creation while providing infrastructure to support access for researchers, biologists and the general public. Unpaved trails were incorporated with low and high-water crossings to maintain this access without compromising the wetlands and streams. Besides the research/educational component of this site, there was an equally important component of creating wetland and stream credits to sell to offset impacts from improvement projects in the area.



  • 2024, Merit Award, American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska