At a Glance

Stream and floodplain restoration enhances water quality at the headwaters of the Chagrin River, one of only 15 State-designated Wild, Scenic, and/or Recreational Rivers in Ohio.

Project Description

Glacially-formed Bass Lake is an Ohio EPA-designated Exceptional Warmwater Habitat and the headwaters of the 71-mile Chagrin River, a State Scenic River and important natural resource. In a design-build capacity, Biohabitats is helping the Geauga Park District to restore Beaver Creek, which flows into Bass Lake. Previously channelized to accommodate agriculture, the eroding Beaver Creek had become disconnected from its floodplain and had experienced erosion, diminished habitat, and poor ecological function. The land surrounding the creek had become inundated with invasive reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea).

Biohabitats developed a design the restore stability, ecological function, and floodplain connectivity to the stream while reestablishing its riparian corridor and improving habitat throughout. The design created a new channel, which included recontoured sections of the old channel and incorporated a series of interconnected oxbow wetlands. The design also created vernal pools and used large woody debris to construct basking logs, standing snags, brush piles, root wads, and other habitat features. Submerged aquatic vegetation was mapped and preserved in the old channel as much as possible, and where necessary, it will be transplanted to provide instream habitat and nutrient uptake in the new channel. The restoration also transforms the invasive species-dominated field surrounding the stream into a functioning, native community using native seed mixes, herbaceous plugs, clusters of live stakes and posts, container grown woody trees and shrubs, and available onsite material. Biohabitats was the prime contractor for this design-build effort, with Meadville Land Service acting as prime subcontractor leading construction implementation.

The restored stream and floodplain will reduce sediment load in the creek and its receiving waterbodies while also enhancing local habitat and ecology.

Details

Bioregion

Great Lakes

Watershed

Chagrin River

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration, Urban Ecology, Water

Owner

Geauga Park District

Location

Munson Township, Ohio, United States

Project Team
  • Meadville Land Service
  • DLZ
  • ASC