Reed College Canyon

Go back one page index Go forward one page

Reed Canyon Enhancement Strategy

Special Areas

There are several areas at Reed Lake Canyon that warrant special attention and more specific plan implementation than just invasive species management and revegetation. They are outlined below and graphically depicted in the plans.

Headwater pond and spillway | Neighbor buffering | Commons area space and view | Lake to stream transition | Crystal springs and the theater | Trails

Headwater pond and spillway

This area is located in the northeastern most edge of the site, at the start of one of Crystal springs. A berm was installed to create a pond, and has since been breached by the water. A deep gully has formed and a small makeshift bridge goes across the gully

Recommended Management Strategy:

  1. Following the removal of the invasive species from the area, re-grade the berm, to re-create a shallow pond on the eastern edge.
  2. Repair the gully by creating a decorative rock waterfall feature that will cascade the water out of the pond.
  3. Install a bridge over to top of the waterfall feature to re-establish safe pedestrian passage through the area.

Neighbor buffering

The upper lake has several areas along its eastern and northern boundary that are in need of buffering. Non-native plants from private residential sites need to be blocked and not allowed to migrate on site.

Recommended Management Strategy

  1. Work with neighbors on the northern property boundary to re-establish a headwater forest slope, and reduce the invasion of non-native plants from their yards on to college property. Establish a 10-foot wide thicket of native vegetation to buffer the area from the neighboring property.
  2. Establish a 30-foot wide thicket of willow, and black cottonwood along the eastern boundary in the wetland areas, to block migration of invasive species from the private residence with the pond.

Commons area space and view

The commons area along the south side of the lower lake overlooks the lake towards the north and is a focal point for gatherings. The plant material on the south side should not obstruct the view of the lake. The northern bank of the lake is in need of enhancement to beautify the views.

Recommended Management Strategy:

  1. Use only native shrubs and groundcover in the commons area, so as not to eliminate views of the lake. Choose plant species that offer a variety of color and texture, especially in the fall.
  2. Remove reed canarygrass from wetland edge on the north side and reestablish an emergent marsh environment. Choose plant species that offer a variety of color and are attractive to wildlife.

Lake to stream transition

The lake is maintained by an earthen dam across the canyon, with an access road crossing over the top. A long culvert extends from the lake to the creek below, past the swimming pool that is placed within the filled zone. Fish cannot pass through the culvert due to its slope and the vertical drop from the concrete pipe spillway to the creek bed. A desire to restore fish passage through this area has been expressed and may soon be required under the Endangered Species Act.

Recommended Management Strategy:

  1. Conduct a detailed survey of site conditions (fill type, elevations, and location of the pipe)
  2. Develop a plan to cut back the pipe or replace it with a box culvert
  3. Excavate a narrow canyon to the north of the swimming pool to recreate a stream channel with step-pool sequencing, so that the fish can migrate up into the lake. The total channel enhancement is approximately 250 ft.
  4. Revegetated the canyon / new stream channel with riparian forest plantings
  5. Move the access trail down to the floodplain area to the north, so as not to conflict with the stream rehabilitation.

Crystal springs and the theater

The school theater was built over Crystal Springs Creek. There is a fair amount of erosion of the stream bank near the pilings of the building as well as underneath it. Heavy pedestrian traffic in the area has compacted soils throughout the area.

Recommended Management Strategy:

  1. Stabilize the stream banks using bioengineering techniques (willow and dogwood pole cuttings)
  2. Cut-off access underneath the building structure by planting Nootka rose, willow and red-osier dogwood
  3. Excavate the banks under the structure down to a level where the soil remains saturated. Stake pre-planted mats of small fruited bulrush and slough sedge into these excavated areas
  4. Add large woody debris throughout this stream reach to restore in-stream habitat complexity
  5. Add a second stream crossing on the downstream side of the theater to provide access to the trail that goes up to the entry road


There are both soft and hard surface trails throughout the campus. The current trail around the lake and into the stream canyon area is in need of repair and relocation in some instances.

Recommended Management Strategy:

  1. Survey trail location and identify new routs that are more environmentally appropriate. Re-route the trail a minimum of 15 feet from the edge of the lake or stream where possible
  2. Create trails that are a minimum of 3 feet wide and relatively flat in grade and cross slope.
  3. Install elevated boardwalks in wet areas (3 feet wide minimum) to reduce impacts to water quality and species migration, and provide for safe pedestrian passage
Native Plant Revegetation Go back one page index Go forward one page Maintenance / Monitoring / Stewardship