Riffles improve water quality and habitat.
Riffles improve water quality and habitat.

Griswold Creek is a coldwater stream in the Chagrin River watershed impaired by suburban development, stormwater runoff, and removal of native streamside plants. These sources of impairment have destabilized the stream corridor, causing severe erosion and loss of natural floodplain connection. With funding from the Lake Erie Protection Fund, an initial study of Griswold Creek was completed in 2013 and a conceptual restoration plan was developed for the stream’s reach within Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park. Chagrin River Watershed Partners worked with Geauga Park District to incorporate this priority project to improve habitat and water quality into a state and federally approved watershed plan.  Inclusion in this plan made the project eligible for grant funding.

In 2017, Chagrin River Watershed Partners assisted Geauga Park District in applying for and securing $260,765 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. In spring 2019, 1,448 linear feet of Griswold Creek was restored by Davey Resource Group, the selected contractor for this project.  Sandstone rock riffle weirs were installed to help the stream access its historic floodplain during high water events. The riffles help naturalize stream flow and decrease the amount of sediment being contributed from stream erosion. The riffles also oxygenate the water and provide habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish. Floodplain pools constructed in streamside areas filter out sediment and nutrients and provide habitat for amphibians. Click here for fact sheet.