Gilkey Creek Restoration

Gilkey Creek
Gilkey Creek
Gilkey Creek Restoration
Gilkey Creek

Flint's Gilkey Creek routinely caused heavy flooding problems, most notably on the historic estate of General Motors founder Charles Mott. To restore the creek and mitigate the flooding issue, the Ruth Mott Foundation turned to SmithGroup

With a comprehensive study of the creek, SmithGroup found ways to improve its hydraulics and bank stability while reestablishing the riparian corridor. The design daylighted a half-mile stretch of creek that had been enclosed in a culvert for 25 years. Bioengineering solutions reestablished a more natural channel and restored habitat for terrestrial and aquatic species. A pond with wetland fringe now absorbs and naturally filters stormwater and aids in flood control.

As a result, costs dropped more than 95 percent for flood-related restoration and cleanup within the estate, delivering significant return on investment. The restoration also serves as living classroom for environmental education. Local programs use Gilkey Creek as a model of habitat and landscape restoration, stormwater management, and wetland ecology.


Ruth Mott Foundation


Flint, Michigan


Civil Engineering, Green Infrastructure, Natural Systems & Habitats, Parks & Open Spaces, Waterfront


16 acres

Featured Awards