South Russell Village stream restored to healthy form
Mar. 11—A stream in South Russell Village has been restored to a healthy form and function thanks to a $262,500 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and through additional support provided by the village.
A stream known locally as Manor Brook flows in a southwesterly direction through the village before it flows into the North Branch of McFarland Creek and eventually enters the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River, according to a news release.
In areas west of Chillicothe Road and north of Manor Brook Drive, the stream was facing challenges such as historic straightening of the stream channel, loss of floodplain, flooding, and streambank erosion at the site as well as at downstream areas.
To help address these challenges, the village worked with Chagrin River Watershed Partners and CT Consultants to develop a stream restoration plan and apply for an Ohio EPA grant, which was awarded in 2019 and provided the federal funding toward the project along with $188,990 in local match provided by the village.
The goals of this project were to help address community stormwater concerns, improve the function of the stream, and provide downstream water quality benefits to McFarland Creek and the Chagrin River, the release stated.
The restoration design used a "bioengineering approach," which incorporates hard structures such as rock and also vegetation, which helps stabilize streambank soils and rock as it grows over time. The project added more natural "sinuosity" or curviness to the previously straightened stream channel and reconnected the stream to its natural floodplain.
The project also included plantings of native trees, shrubs, and wetland plant species in the "riparian" or "streamside corridor. These native plants will help stabilize streambank soils, soak in water, filter out pollutants, and provide cooling shade to the stream as they grow, according to the release.
Through this project, 1,173 linear feet of stream and floodplain were restored, 1 acre of invasive plants were treated or removed, 1 acre of native riparian plantings were installed, and 1 acre of riparian corridor was protected through an environmental covenant.
This project will also reduce sediment and nutrient pollution to the Chagrin River and Lake Erie, the release stated.
The public is invited to a walking tour of the restoration project at 1 p.m., March 14, with a rain date of March 21. Those interested can join South Russell Village, Chagrin River Watershed Partners, and the engineering and construction teams to learn about this project.
For more information and to RSVP, contact Kim Brewster Shefelton of Chagrin River Watershed Partners at 440-975-3870, ext. 1006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Russell Mayor William Koons commented that "the flooding of residents' homes should be greatly reduced or hopefully eliminated entirely by the cooperative efforts of the Whitetail and Manor Brook HOAs, the Chagrin River Watershed Partners and the Village."