We all live in a watershed, even if you live miles away from the nearest river, lake, or creek. In Folsom, your neighborhood is located in one of the city's four creek watersheds.
A handful of creeks in Folsom, including Willow, Humbug, Hinkle, and Alder, take water from our properties and roads and deliver that water directly to the American River. From there, it travels to the Sacramento River and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.
The Alder Creek Watershed includes the Broadstone and Willow Springs neighborhoods, Gold Ridge Elementary School, most businesses along Iron Point Road, the Palladio Mall, and the land south of Highway 50. About 11 square miles of land drains to the Alder Creek and its tributaries.
The watershed is home to many residents and businesses. It’s also home to many animals, fish and aquatic life, insects, plants, and trees. This includes several threatened and endangered species.
Development is ongoing south of the freeway with new homes, businesses, schools, roads, and protected open space and parks currently under construction or in design. It’s important to consider impacts to the watershed’s valuable natural resources and mitigate the impacts of development as planning proceeds. At the same time, it’s important to plan for new recreational opportunities to connect the future watershed residents with the existing population, and to connect everyone with new trails along Alder Creek and the existing American River Parkway.
In late 2006, the city convened a diverse group of watershed stakeholders and embarked on a three- year planning process to study the watershed and recommend strategies for protection of its natural resources in light of planned future urban development. The work was funded by a CALFED/State Department of Water Resources Grant through Proposition 50.
The Alder Creek Watershed Management Action Plan, completed by the City of Folsom and its partners in 2010, synthesizes a wide range of environmental data to characterize current conditions and recommends strategies to protect, enhance, and restore the creek and associated natural resources in the future. The plan describes the watershed and its community and presents the results of the watershed assessment. It also recommends policies and projects, and proposes strategies for implementation of the plan, including adaptive management and monitoring.
The following resources offer more information (note: some of these files are very large and may take several minutes to download):
- Project Summary (SOI Open House), June 2007
- Overview of the Watershed and Project Accomplishments, Spring 2010
- Watershed Management Action Plan, February 2010 - Main Report, Chapters 1-4
- Watershed Management Action Plan, February 2010 - Main Report, Chapters 5-8
- Watershed Management Action Plan, February 2010, Appendices
- Final Grant Project Report, March 2010
Folsom has about 23 miles of natural creeks/channels with associated floodplains. The city participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal government program that subsidizes the amount that property owners pay for flood insurance. A critical component of the NFIP is the identification and mapping of the city’s floodplains to create awareness of flood hazards and to provide the data necessary for floodplain management activities.
Floodplain maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) support the flood insurance program that enables homeowners, renters, and business owners to reduce their financial risk. A FIRM is a joint local-federal floodplain management tool issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FIRMs are available for viewing at Folsom City Hall in the Community Development Department, 50 Natoma Street. To learn more about flood risk, flood insurance, and discover ways to reduce risk, visit FEMA’s Floodsmart website.
Within the City of Folsom there are four primary watersheds; Willow Creek, Humbug Creek, Alder Creek and Hinkle Creek watersheds. Currently, there are FIRMs for the Hinkle Creek watershed and a portion of the Willow and Humbug Creek watershed. Currently, no FIRM has been issued by FEMA for the Alder Creek watershed.
In 2014, the city obtained grant funding from FEMA to update and complete FIRMs for the Humbug and Willow Creek watersheds. The preliminary maps are expected to be complete in 2016. In 2015 the City obtained additional grant funding to update the FIRMs for the Hinkle Creek watershed and develop new FIRMs for the Alder Creek watershed. That project began in November 2015.
Ryan Neves, P.E.
Public Works Project Manager