Jackson Field Stream Restoration at South Chagrin Reservation
The Chagrin River that flows near Jackson Field in Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation is a designated State Scenic River surrounded by wetland and forest. Over the last 20 years, this stretch of the Chagrin River has eroded over 200 feet – almost two channel widths – cutting off floodplain access and contributing to excessive sediment pollution. The erosion and sediment pollution led to significant water quality issues. Before restoration, the bank height along this reach of the river was between 6 and 9.5 feet high, was experiencing severe slumping, and there was little to no deeply rooted vegetation along the river.
Chagrin River Watershed Partners assisted Cleveland Metroparks in obtaining an Ohio EPA Section 319(h) grant for $228,708 to restore the stream. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Cleveland Metroparks also contributed funding toward the project. Funding supported realignment of the river channel, over 600 linear feet of streambank stabilization, restoration of approximately 0.75 acres of floodplain, and improved aquatic habitat. In February of 2020, Cleveland Metroparks awarded a contract to RiverReach Construction and EnviroScience to design and construct the restoration at Jackson Field. A generous donation of land made the project approach possible. The project was completed in the spring of 2021.
The design-build team restored the streambank on the Chagrin River using natural channel design and bioengineering stabilization techniques for erosion control. Bendway weirs were installed to help stabilize the streambanks and maintain a more stable alignment of the river. To further stabilize the stream, the contractor also included rock toe stabilization, locked logs/outside meander logs, rock keys, and living/dead dikes. Nearby invasive trees such as Norway maple and European alder were utilized as meander logs and brush material in the project. Each of these installations helped to add to the structural integrity of the finished project. Woody debris and plants create vegetative roughness that will enhance the aquatic habitat.
An integral part of this project was restoring the river’s floodplain. Floodplains are vital for stream stability as they reduce the volume and energy in the channel by providing overbank storage of flow. Existing materials from the stream were reused to create a floodplain bench on the eroding bank of the stream. Additionally, approximately 0.75 acres of the floodplain were revegetated and restored. Species such as willow, sycamore, and other riparian species were planted throughout the floodplain areas to help stabilize the site, and also improve cover and habitat along the banks.
Cleveland Metroparks has installed a photo monitoring station focused on this restoration project. The public can take photos by following instructions at the monitoring location. These photos will show a time lapse of the restoration process. Check them out here: https://www.chronolog.io/site/CMP106
Chagrin River Watershed Partners partnered with Cleveland Metroparks on this project and assisted with grant writing, consultant selection, and education and outreach.
Funders and Partners:
This project was financed in part or totally through a grant from the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.
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