The Clark County Wetlands Park
is the largest park in the Clark County
park system. The park is located on the east side of the Las Vegas
valley and runs from the various water treatment
plants near the natural beginning of the Las Vegas Wash
to where the wash
flows under Lake Las Vegas
and later into Lake Mead
One purpose of the park is to reduce the environmental impact
of the waste water
and stormwater runoff
leaving the drainage basin
area, by building a constructed wetland
. This is being accomplished by installing a series of water flow control structures
such as dams
and by creating ponds
that together slow down the flow of the water, catching silt
, and reducing the undercutting of the dirt walls that form the wash. As of June, 2005 nine of these structures were operational.
The sides of the wash are being stabilized by installing native plant
and large pieces of demolished construction debris. Some of the native plants, especially those in the areas of standing water, also help to purify the water by removing various pollutants
as the slow moving water provides these plants with nourishment. This method of purification is also called natural water polishing
The second purpose of the park is education
. The displays within the park attempt to show visitors how the wash looked before major settlement occurred in the valley and how much impact people have had on the environment.
The park has a visitors center and miles of walking paths.