In October 2012, CRWP was awarded a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to introduce a series of green infrastructure projects at sites within the Newell/Ward Creek watershed (click here for map), which drains to the Chagrin River. Newell/Ward Creek enters the Chagrin River one mile upstream of the mouth to Lake Erie, and does not meet Ohio EPA water quality standards due to stormwater flows and stream modification.

CRWP worked with the Cities of Mentor, Eastlake, and Willoughby; Great Lakes Mall owners and the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District to restore Newell/Ward Creek. This project:

  • Retrofitted portions of the Great Lakes Mall parking lot to infiltrate stormwater runoff.
  • Restored over 2,900 linear feet of Newell/Ward Creek at the Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course.
  • Provided information to Newell/Ward Creek residents and free rain gardens, rain barrels, or shade trees to more effectively manage stormwater.

Great Lakes Mall Stormwater Retrofits

The 114-acre Great Lakes Mall property is entirely impervious roof top and asphalt parking lot with no stormwater detention or treatment. Great Lakes Mall is the largest single commercial retail site within the City of Mentor and contains 7% of all impervious land areas within the Newell/Ward Creek watershed. The City, CRWP, and Simon Property Group completed initial conceptual design and investigation of soil infiltration rates with funding from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission’s Lake Erie Protection Fund. Great Lakes Mall lies along the City’s main commercial corridor, State Route 20. The roadway follows a historic Lake Erie beach ridge. Core soil samples taken on site confirm that the soil is over silty sand with gravel soils. As sand comprises over 50% of the soil composition, these soils are well-drained with infiltration rates of 13-31 inches per hour measured in soil borings. These soils provide the opportunity to retrofit a portion of the existing impervious parking lot with green infrastructure stormwater control measures, including pervious pavements and bioretention. 
 
The Great Lakes Mall project installed permeable pavers, infiltration chambers, rain gardens, stormwater tree pits and an infiltrating catch basin to allow runoff from 5.2 acres of the mall’s roof and parking lot to soak into the ground.  Trees provide additional stormwater treatment, aesthetic benefits and shading for cars and pedestrians. A small amount of runoff from the mall’s roof flows through an interpretive sign and into a rain garden to increase visitor awareness about the benefits of green infrastructure.
 
 
 
The infiltration chambers installed under permeable pavers in the Great Lakes Mall parking lot will allow water from the roof to soak into the ground. These chambers are the unseen workhorses of the project.  
 
Permeable pavers and rain gardens at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio. The infiltation chambers shown in the previous photo are under these pavers.
 
Rain gardens capture stormwater runoff at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio
 
Tree pits capture stormwater runoff at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio
 

Newell/Ward Creek Restoration at Lost Nation Golf Course

The City of Willoughby, CRWP, and Lake SWCD partnered to stabilize 2,900 linear feet of streambank along Newell/Ward Creek and approximately 3 acres of riparian corridor with native vegetation within the Willoughby Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course. More information here.

Improved Water Management for Newell/Ward Creek Watershed Residents

Through this project Newell/Ward Creek residents in Eastlake, Mentor and Willoughby installed 11 rain gardens, 122 rain barrels, and 171 shade trees to help manage manage stormwater flow and improve water quality in Newell/Ward Creek.

Learn about how putting rain gardens, rain barrels and shade trees on your property
can help solve stormwater problems and improve stream quality.  

Watch Mentor's Around Town
video here!

Watch Fox 8's "Make Your Own Rain Barrel" segment here!