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Pocatello awarded $1.6 million grant through WaterSMART program

Portneuf River Vision Concept Rendering

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - On Nov. 15, the Bureau of Reclamation announced the City of Pocatello was awarded over $1.6 million in grant funding through the WaterSMART Environmental Water Resources program.

This grant will provide for the implementation of the Rainey Park Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation, a top priority project identified in the Portneuf River Vision. The Rainey Park Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation project will take three years to complete, with construction estimated to begin July 2025 and to be completed May 2026. The project will include additional match funding from the City for a total project cost of $2,219,448.

In 2016, the City completed the Portneuf River Vision, a master plan for the Portneuf River that aims to revitalize environmental, recreation, and economic development opportunities in the community while improving community pride, connectivity, and quality of life. The River Vision includes the revitalization of Centennial and Rainey Parks as a top long-term priority.

The 2023 WaterSMART Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation grant will allow the City to move forward with Phase I of the Centennial/Rainey Park plan. Restoration will be accomplished by moving the river’s existing riprapped levee which was originally constructed in 1968 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. A wetland and stream side channel will be installed within the levee, along with ADA-accessible river access for anglers and floaters. Additionally, a stormwater pond will be installed to capture the first flood of sediment-laden waters off of city streets. This project includes a wide range of environmental goals including improving hydrologic functions by increasing floodplain, wetland, and riparian habitat areas, as well as improving water quality.

The proposed wetland creation and levee-moving project is part of a larger park project, which includes parking lot and park improvements on both sides of the river. These other parts of the project will be built in future phases. This project is approximately one-third of the entire park improvement project.

For additional information on the project, visit to review the River Vision.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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