Two HELIX Projects Receive APWA Sacramento’s Project of the Year Awards

      August 7, 2019



On Friday, August 2, 2019 the American Public Works Association (APWA) Sacramento Chapter, held their annual Project of the Year Awards Program.  The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s (Regional San) Nicolaus Dairy Repurposing project won in the Historical Restoration/Preservation Category ($500,000 – $2M),  and jointly the City of Elk Grove and City of Sacramento’s Lower Laguna Creek Open Space Preserve Trail project won in the Parks & Trails Category ($500,000 – $2M). HELIX Environmental Planning was honored to be part of both projects.
The Nicolaus Dairy is a historical property owned by Regional San and located in the Bufferlands around Regional San’s wastewater treatment plant in Elk Grove. The site includes a number of historical structures including the 1914 craftsman farmhouse, 1920s chicken coop, and 1949 California style walk-through dairy. The restored site will serve as an educational resource for school groups demonstrating historical agricultural and dairy practices, the importance of agriculture to the area, and modern conservation practices. HELIX staff prepared a conceptual plan and landscape construction documents as part of renovating the grounds. The design included an heirloom orchard, accessible circulation paths, gathering spaces for students, a picnic area, historically significant farmhouse garden, food garden, pollinator garden, native planting, chicken run, interpretative signage, and hedgerow. HELIX staff also prepared an installation manual to assist student groups in implementing site elements such as the bioswale, pollinator garden, straw-bale walls, gardening space, and chicken run.
The Lower Laguna Creek Open Space Preserve Trail project completes an important connection in the regional trail system connecting the City of Sacramento and the City of Elk Grove’s bike trail networks. Improvements included more than one mile of Class I trail through open space preserves south of Laguna Creek, as well as an educational area and outdoor classroom, decomposed granite paths with interpretive sign stations, seating areas, signalized pedestrian crossing of Big Horn Boulevard, native planting pockets, and preservation of native riparian and wetland habitat. HELIX staff managed landscape architecture services, environmental studies, CEQA documentation, permitting services, and assisted with public outreach.