About This Project

North Channel Riparian Restoration

The North Channel restoration project restored 35 acres of cottonwood/willow and mesquite bosque habitat in an area that was completely infested with non-native plants and had little biological diversity. Fred Phillips Consulting designed, planned, and oversaw all aspects of construction and project maintenance.

Project Slide Show

Our firm pioneered ways to establish dense native grass and wildflower understory that compliments the tree canopy; in under a year, we accomplished a 90% native plant coverage for the understory. This same understory also reduced non-native weed control and herbicide use by over 70% during the establishment period. This mixture of habitat greatly increased the biodiversity of the site.


Now lush with a healthy riparian area and a dense canopy of native trees, this restored habitat is home to nesting and breeding threatened and listed species, including the Yuma hispid cotton rat and the yellow billed cuckoo. The Quechan Indian Tribe also sustainably uses the plants on this site for important cultural activities—willow poles for sweat lodges and willow saplings for basketry. Mesquite beans, meanwhile, serve as a food source. The North Channel has become a birding hot spot in Arizona and a wonderful place to take a nature hike.

Before and after

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area/Quechan Indian Tribe

Location / Date

Quechan Indian Tribe reservation, Lower Colorado River / 2009


Doug Mellon Farms, Mountain States Nursery, Ortiz Bros. Inc., PG&E

Ecological Restoration, Land Planning, Landscape Design