North Hunnicutt Creek Restoration

Current Conditions

North Hunnicutt Creek represents over 6,000 linear feet of stream and adjoining waterways. This arm of Hunnicutt Creek starts at Kite Hill and ends at Perimeter Rd. The watershed is highly urbanized containing many student residences, the fire station, parking areas, and major roadways. A mature native hardwood overstory and dense understory of invasive species dominate the riparian zone for this section of Hunnicutt Creek.

Location of the proposed North Hunnicutt Creek restoration
Location of North Hunnicutt Creek Restoration
Map indicating the location of the North Hunnicutt Creek restoration effort on the Clemson University campus.


This highly degraded system is impacted by past land management and more currently uninhibited stormwater runoff. These factors have resulted in severe in-stream erosion and streambank instability. Tree falls are a common occurrence in this area and pose a significant threat to students, their vehicles, and other existing infrastructure.

Eroded Streambank on North Hunnicutt Creek, SC
Streambank Failure
Photo illustrating severe erosion and streambank instability in North Hunnicutt Creek on the Clemson University campus.
Severe Erosion at proposed Phase 1 of North Hunnicutt Creek, SC
Severe Erosion
Photo illustrating channel incision, invasive species and failed infrastructure at proposed Reach 1 of North Hunnicutt Creek on the Clemson University campus.


Conditions today:

  • Continued erosion and degradation of creek
  • Poor floodplain connectivity
  • Large population of invasive plant species
  • Safety concerns for pedestrians
  • Currently, an avoided and neglected part of campus

A Multiple Reach Approach

In 2017, Clemson University Facilities and local land planners alongside Clemson researchers proposed a multi-reach approach to begin the restoration of North Hunnicutt Creek running through this busy section of the Clemson University campus.

Proposed phased approach for the restoration of North Hunnicutt Creek.
Proposed Reaches
Google Earth imagery illustrating the proposed reaches of stream restoration for North Hunnicutt Creek on the Clemson University campus.


These efforts will take a “top-down approach” beginning with Reach 1 near the water tower on Kite Hill. Subsequent reaches will be restored as funding permits. The full analysis of existing conditions, adjacent land use constraints, stream type, and flow received will be performed for each future reach of restoration and incorporated into specific design goals.