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Chagrin River watershed News Archive

Project partners celebrated the completion of major restoration work on an unnamed tributary of Tinkers Creek in Hudson. The restored 2,000-foot stream near Hudson High School will improve water quality and reduce flooding, while serving as a living lab for students.

In Portage County, the City of Aurora will receive $4.7 million through the state's Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program to restore and protect more than a mile of the Aurora branch of the Chagrin River. The City will purchase 186 acres of the Aurora Golf Club to restore stream banks, forested areas, and wetlands.

The U.S. EPA awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants for two Greater Cleveland projects, giving $996,902 to the Ohio EPA and $770,250 to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners. The Ohio EPA will use its award to implement green stormwater control practices in Cuyahoga County, and the Chagrin River Watershed Partners will use its for green infrastructure projects in Lake County. Meanwhile, the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition issued a report that highlights successful environmental restoration projects in Greater Cleveland.

The Ohio EPA awarded 10 grants through its Section 319 program to help communities address nonpoint source pollution. The $2.8 million in grants included a $184,429 grant (PDF) to Mayfield Village for the Chagrin River watershed, a $478,075 grant (PDF) to the City of Aurora for the Upper Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River, a $169,000 grant (PDF) to the Medina County Park District for the Chippewa Lake watershed, and a $57,078 grant (PDF) to Bath Township for the Yellow Creek watershed.

The agency also declared that brownfield remediation has been completed (PDF) at the Steel Slitting site on Aetna Road in Slavic Village, and issued a covenant not to sue.

Update: the Sun Messenger has more details about the grant received by Mayfield Village.

Gates Mills officials confirmed that there are no plans to replace the Village's dam on the Chagrin River. The dam was destroyed by the recent flooding.

Monday's flooding destroyed a 104-year-old lowhead dam on the Chagrin River in Gates Mills. It was the last remaining dam between the river's mouth and Chagrin Falls. The storm also damaged the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cuyahoga Heights and led the sewer district to temporarily divert untreated wastewater directly into the Cuyahoga River.

Update: the Gates Mills dam probably won't be rebuilt. Its absence is expected to improve water quality and fish populations.

Update 2: repairs are underway at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

With the help of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the Village of Chagrin Falls acquired 9.9 acres of greenspace near Whitesburg Park. The land was formerly owned by the Spillway developers, and will be used for passive recreation.

The Plain Dealer has more details about the removal of the Euclid Creek dam under the Highland Road bridge in Euclid. In Chagrin Falls, officials are preparing bid specifications for modifications of the Chagrin River dam at the Spillway site.

Update: for more information about the dam removal project, visit the Euclid Creek Watershed Program.

Update 2: Chagrin Falls Village Council approved a bid for the first phase of the dam lowering. Spillway developers are working with the Ferchill Group on the mixed-use project.

The Ohio EPA is reviewing the Village of Kirtland Hills' final plans for restoring an 8,700-foot stretch of the Chagrin River's east branch. The Village has begun work on related stream bank improvements.

Thirteen water quality improvement projects (PDF) in Cuyahoga County will receive a total of $2.3 million in grants (PDF) from Ohio's Surface Water Improvement Fund and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The Ohio EPA awarded grants for restoration of stretches of the Chagrin River and Little Cuyahoga River (PDFs). The Geauga Park District received $400,000 and the Lake Metroparks received $349,584 for projects along the Chagrin River, and the City of Akron received $400,000 for work along the Little Cuyahoga River.

Update: the Akron Beacon Journal published more information about the project in Summit County and WKSU has more details about the Geauga County work. The Ohio EPA also awarded a $394,000 grant (PDF) to the West Creek Preservation Committee.

The Chagrin Falls Board of Zoning Appeals approved Spillway LLC's plans to lower a Chagrin River dam as part of its redevelopment of the former Ivex mill. Village Council is expected to vote on the proposal on Monday.

Update: Village Council also approved the plans.

The Ohio EPA approved plans by the Village of Kirtland Hills to restore an altered portion of the Chagrin River's east branch. Work is scheduled to begin in August.

The Village of Kirtland Hills is finalizing its plans for the restoration of the altered 8,700-foot stretch of the Chagrin River.

If they receive a Clean Ohio conservation fund grant, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy will purchase and preserve 10 acres along the Chagrin River from the developers of the Spillway project. It would eventually be used the expand the Village of Chagrin Falls' Whitesburg Park.

Update: the Chagrin Valley Times offers more details.

The Ohio EPA reached an agreement with the Village of Kirtland Hills regarding unauthorized alterations of the Chagrin River near property owned by developer Jerome Osborne. The Village will develop and implement a restoration plan. No agreement was reached with Osborne.

Update: a News-Herald editorial says that the "agreement is a good development".

Ohio EPA officials say that developer Jerome Osborne, Sr. has not cooperated in developing a plan to restore an 8,700-foot section of the Chagrin River's east branch in Kirtland Hills. The agency intends to refer the matter to the Ohio Attorney General's Office for enforcement action.

The Ohio EPA awarded nine 319 grants, including a $329,208 grant to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to restore an unnamed tributary of Tinkers Creek (PDF) in Hudson and a $249,984 grant to Metro Parks, Serving Summit County to restore sections of Furnace Run (PDF) in Richfield. Meanwhile, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission gave a $15,000 grant to the GreenCityBlueLake Institute for a land use planning project, and gave a $14,900 grant to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners to develop a clean water web portal.

In addition to gathering municipal support for their balanced growth initiative, the Chagrin River Watershed Partners are also seeking an endorsement from the Lake County Commissioners.

The City of Solon hired EnviroScience Inc. of Stow to design and oversee the restoration of the southern branch of Sulfur Springs. The stream runs through a 14-acre preserve that was acquired by the City and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy in September.

The Ohio EPA, the Village of Kirtland Hills, and property owner Jerome Osborne, Sr. have been discussing plans for rehabilitating an 8,700-foot stretch of the Chagrin River. In 2007, 20,000 cubic yards of material was moved from the stream bed to an adjacent property without authorization.

The Chagrin River Watershed Partners is looking for municipal participation in a balanced growth initiative for the Chagrin River Watershed. Chardon City Council was briefed on the program on Monday.

Steven Litt likes the plans for redeveloping the Ivex complex in Chagrin Falls. He says that the "project looks like a no-brainer," and concludes that "it could make Chagrin Falls both a better place to visit, and a better place to live."

The City of Solon is developing a long-term stormwater management plan that will replace a plan written by consultants last year.

The City of Solon and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy will purchase, restore, and preserve a 14 acre property southwest of the intersection of SOM Center Road and Hawthorn Parkway. It includes the headwaters of the south branch of Sulfur Springs, a Chagrin River tributary. The City helped to preserve another 14 acre site in June.

At a public meeting on Wednesday, Ohio EPA staff expressed "significant concerns" about the Cleveland Clinic's plans to build a new medical campus in Twinsburg. The 86 acre site includes 23.5 acres of wetlands, and the Clinic's plans call for filling in a portion of them. The two sides are in negotiations to resolve the EPA's concerns.

The Ohio EPA awarded grants for the lowering of a Chagrin River dam in Chagrin Falls and for the removal of a Euclid Creek dam in the Cleveland Metroparks' Euclid Creek Reservation, as well as other grants in Greater Cleveland.

Although Alcoa is pursuing permits to demolish all 28 buildings of the Ivex complex in Chagrin Falls, including the 1841 mill, the company says its intention is to sell the buildings and property for an adaptive reuse of the site. Alcoa is also planning to lower the height of the Chagrin River dam and stabilize the riverbank.

Update: Alcoa revised its application to remove references to demolitions of historic structures.

The City of Solon has begun developing a long-term stormwater management plan. The City's director of public works says that the process is "going to take a long time."

The Chagrin River Watershed Partners received a $15,000 grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to conduct a bioswale demonstration project in Orange.

An 8,700 foot stretch of the Chagrin River in Kirtland Hills was rechanneled without authorization from state or federal officials. The Army Corps of Engineers says the work was a violation of the Clean Water Act, and Ohio EPA officials say that it did serious damage to the River's ecosystem and may increase downstream flooding and erosion.

(Update: The Plain Dealer has more details.)

Bentleyville Village Council narrowly approved a 75 foot riparian setback ordinance. Some councilmembers preferred a 120 foot setback.

Bentleyville leaders are considering a riparian setback ordinance, but some residents are unhappy that it calls for a 75 foot setback, and not the 120 foot setback in the Chagrin River Watershed Partners model ordinance.

This morning's edition of the The Sound of Ideas on WCPN was devoted to a discussion of rivers in Northeast Ohio, canoeing, and related subjects. The guests were author John Manuel, Cuyahoga Valley National Park biologist Lisa Petit, and activist Ed Hauser.

The Cleveland Metroparks acquired 33 acres of forest in Mayfield Village for $2.1 million. The property will be added to the North Chagrin Reservation and includes the headwaters of Foster's Run and Beecher's Brook, tributaries of the Chagrin River. The purchase was aided by $1.4 million from the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program.

The Paper Mill Vision Committee in Chagrin Falls supports the adaptive reuse of the former Ivex Paper Mill on Cleveland Street, and submitted four recommendations to Mayor Brick. They also suggested lowering the dam to reduce liability and remove it from ODNR's jurisdiction. The Trust for Public Land is also interested in preserving greenspace at the site.

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