Tivoli Park Preserve in Albany, New York, is the second-largest urban preserve in New York State and has undergone many master planning efforts over the last one hundred years. The Albany Water Board saw the opportunity to jumpstart the preserve redevelopment outlined in the 2014 Master Plan by tackling the largest piece: daylighting more than 1/3 mile of the culverted Patroon Creek. Given the preserve’s location within the watershed, daylighting a portion of the culverted creek presented a way for the city to ameliorate upstream flooding and protect critical infrastructure routed through the preserve while constructing new stream habitat, installing native plants, and creating meaningful opportunities for the adjacent underserved neighborhood and the greater community to engage with the natural environment.
Daylighting a portion of Patroon Creek involved considering the entire watershed, regular and high flows within the creek, and critical infrastructure, including waterlines, sewer lines, and an adjacent railroad. The final plan included a main channel for regular flows with complex stream habitats, including pools, riffles, runs, slides, and waterfalls, and a high-flow overflow channel to manage higher water flows during storm events. In addition to managing water flows, designers made the stream corridor highly naturalized and accessible to various user groups. Large rock scrambles provide direct access to the water’s edge. An ADA accessible path and viewing nodes also provide more inclusive access to the water. The landscape architecture design team created a meandering channel where possible, specified boulders and stones from local quarries, and used a native plant palette that supported local wildlife and pollinators to make the stream look like it had always been there.
Daylit more than 1/3 mile of culverted Patroon Creek.
A 90-year-old pipe carried the creek through the preserve.
Over 7,000 native plants were planted along the daylit stream.
Mike has over three decades of experience, particularly with hydrology and hydraulic applications. He has been involved in numerous projects involving the layout and design of utility systems, analyses of potential floodway hazards, and the evaluation of hydrologic and hydraulic impacts associated with urban development.