Stormwater Management Project

THE PROJECT
This wetland is the result of a collaborative effort between the Rocky River Watershed Council and Medina County Park District. This project was financed, in part or totally, through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of the Surface Water Improvement Fund.

This wetland intercepts stormwater that was negatively impacting small, high-quality streams in the watershed of the West Branch Rocky River. These small streams can be seen emerging from beneath the exposed sandstone bedrock of Princess Ledges Nature Preserve. Primarily fed by cool, naturally-filtered groundwater, these streams are home to sensitive animals like stoneflies, mayflies, dragonflies, salamanders, and more. These animals live within small spaces beneath and between the rocks and rely on this complex ecosystem for their survival. In an undisturbed environment, stormwater moves slowly across the landscape and is absorbed and filtered along the way by root systems before it gathers into small headwater streams like these.

Development in the watershed upstream of these small tributaries can alter stream habitat and render it unsuitable for all but the most tolerant of species. As stormwater moves rapidly across impervious surfaces like rooftops, parking lots, roadways, and even the compacted soils beneath our shallow-rooted lawns, it carries with
it pollutants in various forms. These pollutants include petroleum products, chemical cleaners,pesticides, and fertilizers to name a few; but the pollutants also include sediment from soil erosion and heat pollution as rainwater flows across hot pavement and rooftops.

In 2010, park natural resource staff noted a severe erosion problem impacting one of the small spring-fed streams beneath the sandstone ledges within the park. The issue was traced back to a roadside ditch along Elm Avenue adjacent to park land. In 2013, the park district acquired properties on the north side of Elm Avenue and began work to address the erosion problem.

The project restored the natural pathway of water across the landscape while increasing its capacity to store and absorb storm runoff. Invasive plants were removed and replaced with native vegetation including hardwood trees planted, in part, by the hard work of park volunteers. In addition to addressing negative impacts to sensitive coldwater streams, this wetland provides valuable habitat for a wide range of wildlife.

SURFACE WATER IMPROVEMENT FUND
The Surface Water Improvement Fund was created in 2008 with the passage of Ohio House Bill 119 and authorizes the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to provide grant funding to applicants such as local governments, park districts, conservation organizations and others.  Funds awarded are used to  implement projects that address nonpoint source pollution and/or storm water runoff and improve water quality in Ohio’s streams, rivers and lakes.

 

This 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.

  • Restoration Planting List

    TREES
    Hemlock(Tsuga canadensis)
    American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
    Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
    Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
    Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)
    Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
    American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
    Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
    Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
    Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
    Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
    Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
    Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

    SHRUBS
    Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
    Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
    Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
    Shining Willow (Salix lucida)
    Silky Willow (Salix sericea)
    Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)
    Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba)
    American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum)

    GRAMINOIDS
    Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
    Bluejoint Grass (Calamagrostis canadensis)
    Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)
    Virginia Wild Rye (Elymus virginicus)
    Riverbank Wild Rye (Elymus riparius)
    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
    Little Bluestem (Schyzachyrium scoparium)
    Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)
    Fringed Brome (Bromus ciliatus)
    Wood Reed Grass (Cinna arundinacea)
    Yellow Fox Sedge (Carex annectens)
    Lance-fruited Oval Sedge (Carex scoparia)
    Pale Sedge (Carex granularis)
    Common Bur Sedge (Carex grayi)
    Narrow-leaved Cattail Sedge 
       (Carex squarrosa)
    Hardstem Bulrush (Scirpus acutus)
    Dark-green Bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)
    River Bulrush (Scirpus fluviatilis)
    Rufous Bulrush (Scirpus pendulus)
    Chairmaker’s Rush (Scirpus pungens)
    Great Bulrush (Scirpus validus)

    FORBS
    Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
    Southern Blue Flag (Iris virginica var. shrevei)
    Sweetflag (Acorus americanus)
    Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
    Giant Bur Reed (Sparganium eurycarpum)
    Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
    Swamp Milkweed (Ascplepias incarnata)
    Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica)
    Swamp Aster (Aster puniceus)
    False Aster (Boltonia asteroides)
    Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
    Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
    Mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum)
    Marsh Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
    Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
    Square-stem Monkeyflower 

       (Mimulus ringens)
    Green-headed Coneflower 
       (Rudbeckia laciniata)
    Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)
    Praire Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii)
    New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
    Flat-topped Aster (Aster umbellatus)
    Tall Coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris)
    Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
    Spotted Joe-Pye Weed 
       (Eupatorium maculatum)
    Sweet Joe-Pye Weed 
       (Eupatorium purpureum)
    Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale)
    Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
    Saw-toothed Sunflower 
       (Helianthus grosseserratus)
    Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
    Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
    Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
    Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)
    Ohio Goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis)
    Purple Meadow Rue 
       (Thalictrum dasycarpum)
    Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis)
    Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
    Tall Ironweed (Vernonia altissima)
    Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)