Rocky Branch Enhancement

Rocky Branch 'Creek' rendering from Dix Park's Master Plan

The City is currently studying the feasibility of restoring and enhancing the Rocky Branch along the northern edge of the Park.  The feasibility study will provide the information needed to inform the restoration and potential realignment of the approximately 5,400 linear feet of Rocky Branch, an impaired waterway that runs through Dix Park, and the re-design of the adjacent Landfill area including athletic fields and additional amenities.

This study will include a stream condition assessment, a soil/waste assessment of the landfill along the stream bank, and conceptual design and assessment for a land bridge. This work will then inform development and evaluation of stream restoration alternatives, a land re-use and waste management plan, a green stormwater management plan, as well as educational and outreach opportunities. 

Rock Branch 'Creek' project extents from Dix Park's Master Plan


The primary objective for restoring Rocky Branch is to create a nature escape for park-goers in the heart of the city, enhance aquatic habitat and ecosystem functioning, and highlight the ecology of the region, all while respecting our downstream neighbors.

The second objective for restoring Rocky Branch is to provide design input to support the State’s efforts to close the Landfill in a way that is consistent and compatible with the coordinated plan for restoring Rocky Branch and with reusing the Landfill area for park programs and activities including athletic fields.

This project is the most complex and ambitious project envisioned in the park's Master Plan. A restored Rocky Branch and repurposed landfill will create a destination within Dix Park that will serve local and regional visitors by providing environmental, recreational, educational, and social benefits.

Rock Branch 'Creek' rendering from Dix Park's Master Plan

Project Details

The City hired a team of consultants led by Surface, 678, headquartered in Durham, NC to lead the first phase of work: Feasibility Study for the Rocky Branch Enhancement Project.  In 2021 the consultant team began meeting with state agencies, collecting data, and assessing existing conditions of the project site.  

The next task of work is kicking off September 2022.  This includes ongoing environmental and hydrological assessments including work at the landfill.  Data collected will identify use options for creek alignment and remediated landfill area, green stormwater infrastructure opportunities, and potential impacts and benefits on the watershed at large.  As a result, the consultant team will produce a series of conceptual designs for the future creek and designs for the connection over Western Boulevard.  The team will also work on securing additional funding to support construction.  

Project Phases + Timeline

The Feasibility Study is anticipated to take 18 months and will include public engagement opportunities.

  1. Pre-Design Discovery  <--- WE ARE HERE 
    • ​​​​​​​Coordination with State Agencies
    • Ongoing Survey Work
    • Phase 1 ESA for Landfill
    • Stream Condition Assessments
    • Stream Conceptual Designs
    • Bridge Conceptual Designs
  2. Design Scenario Planning + Engagement
  3. Recommendations

Project Funding

This first phase of work is funded by four grants awarded to the City of Raleigh and Dix Park Conservancy:

  • Water Resources Development Grant, NC Department of Environmental Quality
  • NC Land and Water Fund Grant, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Environmental Enhancement Grant, NC Attorney General
  • Powerful Communities: Nature Grant, Duke Energy Foundation

Project Contact

Dean Perry – Senior Planner


Project Documents

View presentations and documents from the Rocky Branch Enhancement Project feasibility work, design process and public meetings.

Coming soon...

Other Presentations 

Project update presentations are given at City Council, Dix Park Leadership Committee and Dix Park Community Committee meetings. City of Raleigh Public Meeting Agendas, Presentations and Minutes are available using the city's paperless system. In BoardDocs, click the icon in the top right corner to select the committee you are looking for to view meeting materials.