After: An Agri Drain water level control structure was installed

to increase water retention.


Before: Increased water flow and mowing contributed

to stream erosion.

Village of South Russell Headwater Stream & Wetland Restoration

A $186,868 Ohio EPA Section 319(h) grant was awarded to restore 200 linear feet of a headwater tributary to McFarland Creek and 0.25 acres of wetland at South Russell Village Hall along with the restoration of approximately 1.85 acres of wetland at South Russell Village Park.


Prior to restoration, the on-site drainageway was historically straightened, and because of increasing water flow and mowing, the stream was eroding and downcutting into the channel. Lack of streamside vegetation and sedimentation caused water quality degradation and the area was dominated by non-native, invasive plants. On-site and downstream flooding was occurring. The design/build team created approximately 175 linear feet of new stream and improved 200 linear feet of existing stream channel. They excavated a portion of new meandering stream channel and added gravel substrate. To address downcutting, the team installed riffle grade control structures to stabilize the channel and prevent erosion. They installed live stakes to shade the channel and provide stability and habitat. The team excavated existing floodplain wetland pools to expand wetland storage capacity. Water from the stream and surface runoff was diverted into the excavated areas. All mowing has ceased within the project area. Turf grass and invasive, non-native vegetation were treated prior to construction. The team installed a diversity of native plants including riparian seed, wetland seed, wetland plugs, and woody container plants and trees throughout the project area.


The restoration area at South Russell Village Hall was previously maintained as tall grassland using seasonal mowing. A walking trail around the north and west edge of the project area was infrequently used during the wet seasons because it became saturated with water resulting in muddy conditions. The design/build team excavated soil from the restoration area to increase the water-holding capacity of the site. Runoff from adjacent areas was directed towards the wetland. To increase water retention on-site, the team installed an Agri Drain water level control structure on the north end of the project area. They added habitat features such as microtopography, snags, and downed woody debris to the restored wetland. The team placed excess excavated material along the north and west trail to elevate the walking areas and to provide dry passage around the wetland for park visitors. The trail also acts as a berm by blocking water from draining off-site. All mowing has ceased within the project area and a diversity of native plants were installed.


Construction on the Village Hall and Village Park site was completed in Fall of 2020. The Village partnered with Chagrin River Watershed Partners for this project and provided $74,748 in local match.


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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