At a Glance

A collaborative design-build effort funded by H2Ohio creates over six acres of wetland, enhances biodiversity, and restores ecological function to a vital floodplain system.

Project Description

In the small town of Millersburg, Ohio, legacy impacts of agriculture, including straightening and dredging the once meandering Killbuck Creek, disrupted the stream and its floodplain’s ecological function. Constricting infrastructure and the lack of hydrologic connectivity led to flooding, bank instability, sedimentation issues, and loss of floodplain wetlands. To restore natural processes and recover ecosystem services that were degraded by ditching and decades of farming, the Holmes County Park District turned to Biohabitats.

As design-builders, Biohabitats worked collaboratively with the District, stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to develop and permit creative solutions tailored to the unique sand-bed stream systems and their floodplain. The design reconnected the floodplain to Killbuck Creek and Sand Run by excavating breaks in three areas along Killbuck Creek, as well as creation and enhancement of over six acres of floodplain wetland. To create a natural floodplain system, the project team planted the newly restored areas with native riparian, emergent, and scrub-shrub wetland vegetation, facilitating the resurgence of emergent wetlands, oxbow wetlands, vernal pools, and hummock and hollow habitat. During construction, the project team used resources found on-site wherever possible, minimizing impacts to existing resources and maximizing restoration outcomes while staying within budget.

The restoration of wetland hydrology and function allowed higher flows to access the floodplain, improving water quality through nutrient and sediment capture and improved flood resiliency. Reconnecting both streams with their historic floodplains and managing invasive species post-construction improved site biodiversity, restored diverse habitat, and enhanced recreational opportunities for users of an adjacent park trail.



Ohio River

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration


Holmes County Park District


Millersburg, Ohio, United States

Project Team
  • Chagrin Valley Engineering
  • H2Ohio
  • Crowley's Vegetation Control