The bioretention cell receiving parking lot runoff during a heavy rain event


Ursuline College, a non-profit educational institution located in the City of Pepper Pike, received a grant from Ohio EPA’s Surface Water Improvement Fund program to install 2,800 square feet of bioretention cell, restore 485 linear feet of stream channel and streambank, and restore 0.87 acres of riparian area. This project restored a tributary to Pepper Creek that has been impacted by channelization, riparian vegetation removal, stormwater flows, and the July 20, 2013 tornado that touched down on the campus and caused additional damage to the project site.


The bioretention cell treats runoff from 1.3 acres of asphalt parking lot and roadway before it discharges to the stream.  1,450 native grasses, sedges, and wildflowers were planted in the cell and native grasses and shrubs were planted on the cell slopes.  The bioretention cell is across from the permeable pavement system installed on the patio of the Pilla Center.

Stream restoration involved removal of portions of spoil piles from the stream’s floodplain to allow for stream access, stabilization of eroding streambanks with rock and vegetation, and the establishment of native vegetation within the riparian corridor of the stream.  The College also installed low-mow grass adjacent to the stream to minimize mowing and fertilizer application close to the stream.  Ursuline College students, faculty and members of the community also assisted in the revegatation of streambank and riparian areas downstream of the College’s pond.  Volunteers installed 700 live stakes and planted 74 native trees and shrubs.

Before: Portions of the stream had experienced severe erosion due to increased stormwater flows and sedimentation After: Streambanks were graded to more stable slopes and rock protection and vegetation was installed to minimize future erosion
Portions of existing spoil piles were dug out to allow the stream to access its floodplain during heavy rain events Ursuline College students, faculty, and members of the community assisted in the revegetation of downstream riparian areas

This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of the Surface Water Improvement Fund and the USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.