Silver Creek

Silver Creek Restoration

Puyallup has grown and expanded throughout its long history. With development, however, has come the displacement of various streams and creeks within our City, moving them from their natural creek beds, to ditches and culverts - making way for development.

In more recent years, stormwater management efforts have focused on stream restoration - correcting actions that removed streams and creeks from their natural channels. Through efforts led by the city of Puyallup Silver Creek, which once was ditched along 12th Ave SW and 11th Street SW, has since been returned to its natural stream channel in the northeast quadrant of 12th Ave and 11th Street SW.

The restoration did not stop with the re-channelization - since that time, ongoing restoration efforts on Silver Creek and its riparian zone have continued. Read more below about recent and past events focused on the stream's restoration.
  1. Paul Marrinan P.E.

    Senior Civil Engineer

Silver Creek Site Stewards Help with On-going Efforts

Thank you to our Site Stewards who have taken on watching over restoration sites around the City. With these boots-on-the-ground, we get feedback from the field when we need to have new planting events, implement weed control, or have Salmon sightings in our creeks!

To learn about the Site Steward Program and how to adopt a site for your organization, please visit the Pierce Conservation District webpage. PCD partners with the City on many outreach projects where our missions align. This helps both organizations leverage available funding and staff to improve our waterways and meet our NPDES Stormwater Permit requirements.



Degraded channel conditions in upper reaches of Silver Creek have lead to channel incision and contribute to sedimentation of downstream reaches, including Clarks Creek. In-channel stabilization projects along Silver Creek have been recommended to provide grade control and channel roughening features, woody vegetation, and riparian improvements. Two stabilizations along Silver Creek have been conceptually identified, near 15th Ave SW, and will be considered in future plans when funding opportunities become available.
Using Pitchforks to Take Mulch Out of a Truck Bed

Past Events

Thank you to the 40 volunteers from the Lions Club, REI, and an Eagle Scout-led group who turned out for our October 2011 event to help expand the Silver Creek restoration and trail project. This great group of volunteers installed 400 feet of soft walking trail, 400 cedar trees, and 81 native shrubs. The City was presented with a hand-made bench to install along the trail by the Eagle Scout candidate. The bench will be installed in October along the newly-constructed southern portion of the trail.

Thank you to the great group of volunteers from Light Dental Studio for returning a second year to volunteer at the Silver Creek restoration project site. This group of volunteers installed over 300 feet of additional walking trail during a June 2011 event.
Wilderness Trail
In addition to enjoying the salamanders sighted around the trail area, the group observed many small fish in the culvert on 12th Avenue SW - proof that the past restoration efforts are resulting in viable habitats!

In 2010 the City, in cooperation with Pierce Stream Team and through funds from a Green Partnership grant, and with help from various volunteer groups, began the trail building and riparian planting project within the Silver Creek project area.

Riparian Zone

Riparian zones are areas that surround water bodies within a watershed. These ecosystems consist of complex interactions between the water, soil, microorganisms, plants and animals and are found surrounding lakes, estuaries, streams and rivers. Riparian zones are important transition areas that connect the water with the land, and host a wide array of plant and animal life and are important because they help to filter stormwater runoff, removing pollutants before the water flows into streams. Riparian zones also provide necessary shade to our local streams, preventing overgrowth of invasive plants, such as elodea.

To complement the riparian planting, the City also installed a walking trail through this same location - creating a new recreational activity for citizens. Volunteers poured out for this event, mirroring the City's dedication and commitment for restoring the watershed and creating community areas. Interpretive signs were installed to help visitors understand the transformation Silver Creek has undergone and tell about the importance of riparian planting.