Kelsey Creek Design-Build
The City of Cuyahoga Falls called upon Biohabitats to restore approximately 1,000 linear feet of degraded Kelsey Creek. This tributary to the Cuyahoga River, which flows through Kennedy Park, was experiencing significant bank erosion and channel downcutting, primarily due to the removal of a downstream dam in 2009. These conditions were not only hazardous to the people visiting the park and were aesthetically unappealing, but limited the biological communities and ecological services provided by the stream. This downcutting also exposed gas lines and threatened a sanitary sewer line that runs both parallel to and under the stream channel.
This project restored approximately 1,000 feet of degraded Kelsey Creek in Kennedy Park. Ultimately the stream can become an environmental education centerpiece for an adjacent school and in the future Bicentennial Arboretum.
The restoration rehabilitated the stream through slightly raising the channel invert to reconnect the channel to existing floodplain benches, making minor adjustments to the alignment to protect the sewer line and adjacent ball fields, excavating floodplain benches where feasible, and grading some eroding banks to a stable angle. This restoration has established native riparian vegetation on both stream banks and limited mowing to take advantage of the benefits provided by a natural forest buffer to slow overland flow, process nutrients and sediment from the channel, and eventually provide shading and woody debris to the channel.
Construction was completed in August of 2013 with a volunteer planting completed with students from the adjacent Schnee Learning Center in November of 2013.