Mast Park Habitat & Wetland Restoration
HELIX facilitated the design and development of a 12.7 acre habitat restoration effort in the City of Santee which will help to satisfy mitigation requirements for six different development projects in the vicinity of the San Diego River. The project was conceptualized as an opportunity to consolidate mitigation and restoration opportunities from a number of different projects, under a single project description, in a single location.
The project site is located within the resource-rich San Diego River floodplain. Challenges during the planning phase of the Mast Park Wetland Habitat Restoration project included negotiating regulatory processes oriented toward either site specific mitigation or the use of mitigation banks, as well as the last minute addition of a sixth development project into the restoration design. HELIX conducted evaluation of biological resources, restoration planning, regulatory agency permitting, coordination of land purchase, construction easements, coordination of long term management responsibilities, and production of detailed construction documents. HELIX implemented the restoration and grading plans, which included exportation of 35,000 cubic yards of sand, trash and debris clean-up, and non-native plant and tree removal to create ideal hydrological and soil conditions for native riparian plant species. Following grading and non-native plant removal, HELIX installed a reclaimed water irrigation system to help establish the more than 15,000 native riparian plants installed – all of which were collected locally or grown in HELIX’s nursery. Biologists and archaeologists conducted construction monitoring during the effort to ensure sensitive resources were protected.
HELIX is providing active maintenance for the Mast Park Wetland Habitat Restoration project for a period of approximately five years, allowing the newly installed habitat to develop and become self-sustaining. At the end of the five-year maintenance period, management of the preserve will be turned over to the San Diego Habitat Conservancy. The adjacent Lowe’s Biological Open Space Preserve, when combined with Mast Park, will create a consolidated community preserve of over 20 acres.