HUB District Riparian Enhancement Project
The City of Warrensville Heights has been awarded a $34,000+ Clean Ohio grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission with matching funds of $11,000+ from the City. Funds will be used to enhance and permanently protect 5.6 acres of riparian habitat and wetlands along Bear Creek, a major tributary to Tinker’s Creek. Invasive species will be treated, and native species will be installed to add diversity, resilience, and stormwater function to this area.
The creek is impaired by sedimentation, organic enhancement, low in-stream dissolved oxygen, nutrient enrichment, toxicity, habitat alteration, as well as yet to be determined impairments. Habitat impairments reflect a historically dredged stream in various stages of recovery.
This funding will increase our progress towards restoring habitats and water quality in the watershed. This site is an important water quality resource in Warrensville Heights which will be protected from development and made accessible to the public. We are excited about the opportunity to put this project on the ground with great partners in the City, the Ohio Public Works Commission, and local agencies.
Bedford Heights Bus Garage Project
This project was part of a subgroup of projects funded from the AOC Grant that were not currently within the WAP. It was investigated by Environmental Design Group (EDG). The perennial tributary to Tinker’s Creek is located east of Interstate 271 and north of Solon Road. The tributary drains into another larger tributary that then drains to the main stem of Tinker’s Creek just south of Solon Road, downstream of stream mile 8. The project starts approximately 320 linear feet (along the channel) from the confluence of this tributary with Tinker’s Creek. The project extends approximately 720 linear feet east along the existing stream channel. The Bedford Heights Waste Water Treatment Plant outfall discharges to this tributary north of Solon Road. The tributary drains approximately 442.4 acres and has approximately 17.4% impervious surfaces (USGS Streamstats). The project restored 700 linear feet of entrenched stream. This project will reduce sediment and nutrient input into Tinker’s Creek. A portion, about 150 linear feet, of this stream had extremely steep slopes which will require slope stabilization and reforestation. In this area, the stream has historically flooded properties, further exacerbating sediment transport, habitat degradation, and oil/grease runoff from the flooded bus garage.
Check out this post-construction site visit with Cleveland Metroparks:
Hudson Tenbroeck Stream Restoration
TCWP has been awarded a $191,500 Great Lakes Restoration grant from the Ohio EPA and US EPA. Funds will be used to restore instream habitat to a historically channelized portion of Tinker’s Creek.
A total of fourteen wetlands and four streams, one being Tinker’s Creek, were found within the study area. The wetlands are moderate to high quality and include areas of emergent, scrub/shrub, and forested plant communities. All of the wetlands fall into the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) Category 2 or 3 ranges and are abutting or adjacent to streams and/or in the floodplain of Tinker’s Creek.
The riparian corridor, in general, is one very positive aspect for the project site as the streambanks are well vegetated creating a desirable shaded condition. While much of the stream is channelized, the mature forested areas surrounding the stream preclude significant channel relocation or levy spoil pile removal, and the project will focus largely on improving habitat within the existing channel and within the wetlands and riparian corridor. The goal is to avoid the “ecological bruising” associated with substantial earthmoving efforts, to stretch the available funding as far as possible for the benefit of the stream and wetlands corridor, and to set the foundation for continued long-term uplift of the stream by giving it a low impact restoration nudge. Performance metric goals for Reach 3 include increasing the QHEI score from 54.5 to 60 or above and increasing IBI scores from 26 to 34 or above. Additional project goals include improving the riparian corridor and wetlands ecological integrity by invasive species removal. During the Project team’s site visit, Phragmites australis and Rosa multiflora were identified as primary invasive species requiring treatment; however, smaller populations of invasive buckthorn were also identified.
This site also serves as excellent habitat with good connectivity to other natural areas for two species of bats: the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and the federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).
The project approach will focus on a targeted, low impact strategy to enhance the existing conditions. In order to achieve the habitat and biological uplift we anticipate, we will employ targeted alterations of the existing conditions by using woody habitat and rootwads, restored riffles, and channel constrictions