The historic Smoky Hill River established the City of Salina and, for many generations, was the focus and center of all community events and celebrations. Over the years, the Smoky Hill River slowly deteriorated due to the placement of a major flood diversion levee, the lack of dedicated and consistent flows, increased sedimentation, and a general lack of upkeep and maintenance.

Design Studios West (DSW)—a Matrix company—was retained by the Friends of the River Foundation (FOR) to engage and document the general public’s interest in preparing a detailed Smoky Hill River Master Plan. Funded entirely through private donations, the FOR and DSW organized a 14-month public engagement process which confirmed the community’s desire to prepare a detailed master plan.  

DSW and Wright Water Engineers (WWE) were retained by the City of Salina to prepare a comprehensive riverfront master plan detailing how the 7 mi river corridor could be developed to:

  • Generate environmental and educational development
  • Entice private investment
  • Create recreation and wellness opportunities
  • Stimulate community and neighborhood development
  • Effectuate proper restoration of this historic river

Services included: