Rocky Branch Restoration Completed

Rocky Branch is an urban creek that runs more than a mile through NC State’s campus and drains into Walnut Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River. Nearly ten years ago, NC State partnered with NC Sea Grant to implement a three-phase restoration project of Rocky Branch which was completed in 2010.

The goal of the project was to create a safe and accessible outdoor teaching laboratory. Before the restoration began, the stream was narrow, deep, and suffering from severe erosion, as well as being an eyesore for the campus community. The creek project demonstrates how to stabilize a creek, improve water quality, and create aquatic and wildlife habitat, all while integrating the creek into the campus environment. Using natural channel design techniques, the restoration allows the stream to flow naturally through a newly created floodplain.

The project installed 6,000 feet of trail path along the restored creek to provide a transportation alternative and bring people closer to the creek. A pedestrian underpass at Pullen Road allows safe passage for pedestrians and wildlife beneath a major thoroughfare. The underpass connects the path to Pullen Park and the City of Raleigh Greenway System. Interpretative signs along the greenway explain various restoration concepts.