North Hunnicutt Restoration: Reach 1

Restoration activity on Clemson University’s North Hunnicutt Creek began in September of 2019. This project will be the first step of a larger effort to restore approximately 6,000 linear feet of Hunnicutt Creek as a positive amenity to both the ecosystem and the Clemson community.

“Reach 1” is the area of focus for this project and refers to the length of creek from the Kite Hill water tower down to its intersection with Newman Road. The restoration work for Reach 1 will utilize a multi-stage step-pool channel. The step-pool component will offer grade control with energy dissipation while the multi-stage component will establish a stable floodplain connection while minimizing impact on surrounding Clemson University infrastructure. The restoration will also include re-vegetation to offer increased stabilization and replace invasive species with native species.

Phase 1 location of the North Hunnicutt Creek restoration effort
Phase 1 Location
Map indicating the location of Reach 1 for the North Hunnicutt Creek restoration effort on the Clemson University campus.

Project objectives:

  • Establish stable channel geometry
    • Establish floodplain connectivity
    • Reduce dramatic jumps in profile through grade control structure
  • Utilize vegetative stabilization practices to maximum extent possible – minimize use of hard armoring
  • Establish community of native riparian vegetation
  • Work with spatial constraints of University facilities, utilities, future land use, etc.
Existing conditions of Phase 1 within North Hunnicutt Creek.
Existing Channel Conditions
Image depicting existing stream channel conditions for Reach 1 of the Hunnicutt Creek restoration on the Clemson University campus.
Phase 1 proposed channel changes within North Hunnicutt Creek.
Proposed Channel Changes
Image depicting proposed stream cross-sectional channel configurations for Reach 1 of the Hunnicutt Creek restoration on the Clemson University campus.


In order to perform the earthwork required to address the severely incised channel existing and establish a stable channel geometry, Clemson University arborists have advised that clearing of trees in this area may be necessary. Therefore, re-vegetation will be a key component of the long-term success of this project. The proposed vegetation plan provides 2 planting zones, with species designated for each based on slopes, proximity to the creek, and compatibility with each other. In addition, the entirety of the tree removal area will be planted with a native seed mix which includes species that offer stabilization and increased biodiversity.

Proposed longitudinal changes for Phase 1 of North Hunnicutt Creek.
Proposed Longitudinal Changes
Image depicting longitudinal profile of existing conditions and proposed fill with channel configuration for Reach 1 of the North Hunnicutt Creek restoration on the Clemson University campus.