Arcola Creek Stream Wetland Restoration
This wetland restoration/creation project is in the Arcola Creek watershed on approximately 19 acres of former nursery land now owned by Madison Village. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delineated 6.29 acres of this land as Category 2 wetlands in 2015. The historical land use of nursery production has drained these former wetlands for more than 80 years; two irrigation ponds remain from that era. A tributary of Arcola Creek flows onto the property from south to north and empties directly into Lake Erie a few miles downstream. More than 500 feet of the tributary have been channelized as a ditch that runs along the road to the east. The Arcola Creek watershed contains a large percentage of Lake County’s agricultural land, making it a potential source of nutrient loading into Lake Erie; this project will have a significant impact on water quality.
The project is in progress, with construction scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2022. It will restore and improve the wetlands in several ways. Drainage ditches will be filled to reestablish the natural surface hydrology, raise the water table and expand the existing wetlands. The stream will be relocated and restored to a meandering two-stage channel flowing through the wetlands rather than in a channelized ditch. The two-stage channel will reconnect the stream to the floodplain and provide wetland habitat with a riparian buffer on both sides of the channel. Three Beaver dam analogues will be installed to increase the complexity of the stream ecosystem, reconnect and expand the floodplain, and recharge the adjacent wetlands. Vernal pools will be excavated in the non-designated wetland areas to create habitat adjacent to the designated wetlands. Soil mounded around the irrigation ponds will be excavated to create a bench and planted with native wetland species resulting in 1.5 acres of emergent marshland.
As a second phase to the project, a boardwalk/trail will be constructed through the wetland complex to create an opportunity for public recreation and education about wetlands.
Visit https://www.chronolog.io/site/OHO113 to follow the project’s progress or contribute a picture of your own!