Verdantas served as lead designer on the Design-Build team for Cleveland Metroparks for the Bonnie Park Ecological Restoration and Site Improvement Project located at Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville. Our team designed, permitted, and performed construction and planting for the Metroparks project. Work was funded by the Ohio EPA Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP).
Project goals were to complete river restoration and floodplain reconnection through the removal of a historic lowhead mill dam located in-line with the East Branch of the Rocky River (EBRR). The objective of this goal was to restore the Warmwater Habitat (WWH) status of the EBRR by improving sediment transport, fish migration and colonization. The lowhead dam was a migration barrier for fish and promoted sedimentation that negatively affected the macroinvertebrate populations within the stream corridor.
To achieve these goals, the restoration design included removal of the dam and establishment of natural stream profile and pattern by incorporating boulder riffle and pools through the previously impounded river area and through the demolished dam area. The stream banks of the EBRR were restored through the establishment of floodplain bankfull benches by removing existing gabion baskets and the grading of eroded banks. An existing undersized culvert under the main entrance’s road running across the floodplain was replaced with a large 3-sided culvert to provide floodplain connectivity to wetlands within the EBRR floodplain. The restoration also includes the creation of floodplain upstream of the dam in an existing mowed field and the restoration of two to three acres of wetland habitat in a former baseball field within the EBRR floodplain. Invasive species were removed within the limits of the project work including removal of invasive shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants.
Substantial construction was completed in fall 2020 and planting was completed in winter/spring of 2021.
The Metroparks set up a ChronoLog for the project—a timelapse of the site, made up of photos from visitors, compiled since 2020. View the Chronolog