Spring Brook is a tributary of Bass Lake, a part of Bass Lake Preserve, which drains to the Upper Main Branch of the Chagrin River. Spring Brook also meanders through Spring Brook Sanctuary, a designated State Nature Preserve.
This coldwater habitat stream was once made up of a healthy combination of substrate with well-developed riffles, runs and pools, and provided great habitat for sensitive coldwater species such as the state Endangered Ohio brook trout. Over time, however, the stream degraded, and the substrate was scoured down to mostly hardpan clay, leaving unsuitable habitat for sensitive species. In addition, the streambanks were heavily eroded, leading to increased sediment.
In 2020, Geauga Park District, in partnership with Chagrin River Watershed Partners, was awarded a $219,000 Ohio EPA Section 319(h) grant to restore 800 linear feet of this coldwater habitat stream to improve water quality and habitat for Bass Lake and the Chagrin River Watershed. Check out this fact sheet for an overview of the resulting project.
EnviroScience, GPD Group and River Reach Construction were contracted as the design-build team to complete the restoration using natural channel design principles and bioengineering methods. Riffle pool complexes were reconstructed to create stability to the stream channel and provide habitat once again for sensitive cold-water species. Spring Brook was also reconnected to its floodplain. Floodplains are vital for stream stability as they reduce the volume and energy in the channel by providing overbank storage of flow and will also prevent future erosion on the streambanks. The project also made use of boulders, woody debris, and branch and log revetments to add stability to the streambanks and create additional habitat within the stream channel, and enhanced about two acres of riparian area with invasive species removal and native species plantings.
This project was financed in part or totally through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency through an assistance agreement with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations, contained in this product or publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or United States Environmental Protection Agency peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or the United States Environmental Protection Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.