Making Nature Your Neighbor

We are all together in getting through these tumultuous times. It has become imperative to connect to, and experience Nature if physically or virtually. Throughout Northeast Ohio there are gems to enjoy that are “low risk”, can help you get that breath of fresh air that you deserve, and will connect you to the natural world in which we live. Join us as we continue our journey to explore sites throughout our region and get our weekly West Creek Wednesday: Nature Fix! Together, we’ll explore some well-known trails and hidden gems we think you’ll be excited to learn more about.

The Hike: Mill Creek @ Mill Creek Blvd in Highland Hills

Location: Lat/Long: 41°26’57.1″N 81°31’36.7″W

For this week’s installment of the Nature Fix we bring you to an area that is heavily developed, but with a keen eye on our waterways you may just find natural beauty hidden within. This project is directly downstream from a previous restoration project that we were involved in at the Highland Park Golf Course. Led by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District NEORSD, The City of Cleveland, the Village of Highland Hills, and (a program of West Creek Conservancy) the Mill Creek Watershed Partnership, a project to restore a degraded and channelized section of Mill Creek began in March 2016. In 2020, our team, along with funding support from the OhioEPA and NEORSD, have hired the Enviroscience/River Reach/GPD team to continue the success of this restoration downstream to Mill Creek Blvd. Here, there are beautiful wetlands, a pond, and natural riffles that wind their way through the Mill Creek. Mature cottonwoods and other trees pull you out of the surrounding developed world into a small natural oasis.

Conservation Work/Trail Work

West Creek Conservancy has been working with the City of Cleveland as well as the Village of Highland Hills on putting a Conservation Easement over this stretch of stream, along with some external restoration efforts that extend beyond its boundaries into enhancements to the pond. There are a few areas here that have significant erosion and disconnection to the wetlands that help filter out nutrients as well as retain stormwater. With the help of the current restoration being performed, this problem will be of the past, and the stream will once again breath and flow in a more naturalistic state. These partnerships between non-profit, municipality, agency, and the public are imperative to the long term success of these urban restorations! This restoration is also along a “”Mill Creek Greenway” visioning, and with the easement in place, and restoration being performed, creates more of a natural attraction for when this effort comes to fruition. For more info on the restoration effort, contact us at [email protected] or visit our project page. 

 Join us weekly for your Nature Fix as we tour properties throughout the region and extend the work of West Creek Conservancy onto your devices.

Mill Creek Blvd Gallery: Our Hike