333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

Meeker Creek Restoration



One Project, So Much Good!

PUYALLUP - The City of Puyallup will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 3rd to celebrate the completion of the Meeker Creek Restoration project, and the beginning of its many environmental benefits.

Meeker Creek in Puyallup has a history that reaches back to the city’s founding in the late 1800s. In Puyallup’s earliest years, the “Big Ditch” was dug as a means of redirecting and channeling the natural course of some of the valley’s surface water. Over time, the “Big Ditch” came to be known as “Meeker Ditch” and today is called “Meeker Creek.”  Meeker Creek feeds into Clarks Creek which is spawning ground for pink, Chinook, coho and chum salmon and cutthroat and steelhead trout.

The now-completed $1 million Meeker Creek restoration project was undertaken to create flood storage capacity (of no small importance to those who live and own property in the flat, wet valley), and address water quality issues in both Meeker and Clarks Creeks. Various design components of the project oxygenate the water, trap sediment, stabilize the banks, manage erosion and provide additional salmon-spawning and habitat areas. Because of this project, stormwater drainage from areas to the north is now collected and piped through water quality treatment devices before being discharged to Clarks Creek.

This project is one of various endeavors being made to improve water quality in the Silver, Meeker and Clarks Creeks. These efforts include the re-channelization of Silver Creek between 12th Avenue SW and Meeker Creek, a recent modular wetlands project installation, Low Impact Development (LID) installations throughout the basin, acquisition of the Pioneer Place II wetlands tract and the subsequent acquisition of nearby property for riparian restoration, the upcoming Upper Clarks Creek Channel Stabilization project (in partnership with The Puyallup Tribe of Indians) and continuing elodea management as needed.

The Meeker Creek Restoration project began in 2012 and was partially funded by grants. In partnership with the city, the Pierce Conservation District will coordinate vegetation management efforts, including the planting by volunteers of more than 10,000 plants along the banks of the creek.

Event details:
Date:           Friday, June 3rd
Time:          3:00 p.m.
Location:   1000 block of 14th St SW, Puyallup


 At completion, the Meeker Restoration Project has created a restored stream section which includes channel characteristics supportive of water quality including riffles, pools, and glides. These channel features support water quality through oxygenation of the stream and natural sediment removal. The surrounding flood plain created as part of the design is also allowing for sediment removal during large rain events. When the flood waters exceed the banks of the low-flow channel, the floodplain area serves its purpose by allowing these increased flows to spread out and slow down – this is when the volumes of sediment being carried down from upstream sources (such as stormwater outfalls and degraded stream channel sections) settle out and deposit in the flood plain. This reduces down-stream sedimentation and conveyance from these large upstream system flushes. This effect was evident after the first large rain event post-construction.

Construction work is complete and the Meeker Creek Stream Restoration is now transitioned to an on-going planting and monitoring phase. Over the upcoming years the City and its program partner, Pierce Conservation District, will host planting events, weed management work, and host a Site Steward to monitor the site.  

When walking past the site on 14th Street SW, note the new pervious concrete sidewalk. The sidewalk stretch was replaced as part of this project to add to the hydrologic connection of the system. Pervious concrete was installed to manage and filter stormwater runoff and help direct it to the creek.

Thank you to each and every neighbor and visitor who shared their thoughts on the project and watched it grow from a degraded stream section to a natural, meander channel and floodplain that now supports water quality improvements, filters sediment loads from the stream, hosts wildlife including a bald eagle, blue heron and salmon, and supports the City's implementation of permit-requirement TMDL plans.
Meeker by the Numbers

The Meeker Restoration design incorporated in-channel, floodplain, and riparian characteristics to support improved water quality, Salmon and wildlife habitat, and flood storage. 

  • Habitat- and water quality-improved channel
    • 16 anchored large woody debris installations
    • 5 pools
    • 5 glides
    • 6 riffles
    • cobbled-stream bottom
  • 2.6 acres of riparian zone planted
    • 480 trees 
    • 1,400 shrubs 
    • 1,750 live cuttings (trees)
    • 6,050 emergent
  • 100+ volunteers attended 4 planting events