Project In Process
This project will restore and enhance stream and riparian habitat on approximately 45 acres of a former golf course, along the Cuyahoga River at the northern edge of the City of Akron, commonly referred to as the Merriman Valley.
This project site is located in Summit County on Akron-Peninsula Road along the Cuyahoga River and across the river from Sand Run Summit Metro Park. The restoration site sits in a floodplain and acts as the natural riparian zone for the mainstem of the Cuyahoga River along a section of the river known for the migratory spawning of Steelhead Trout.
Two tributaries join the Cuyahoga River at and upstream of this site–Sand Run and Mud Brook. Restoration of the lower portion will open up the floodplain within this 1.3-mile stretch of the mainstem of the Cuyahoga River creating 33 acres of naturalized flood zone riparian community that will be seeded and planted with a diverse assemblage of native trees and shrubs.
Eventually, public access will include a trail system complete with public trailheads and potentially even a kayak ramp to place this site as a put in/take out along the State designated Cuyahoga River Water Trail.
Support for the project has been provided by the Ohio Public Work Commission’s Clean Ohio Greenspace Fund, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ H2Ohio Program, and Petros Homes.
Expected Outcomes and Benefits
When finished, this project will enhance fish habitat and riparian habitat in and along 1.3 miles of the Cuyahoga River within the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern to help meet the State of Ohio’s Beneficial Use Impairment Restoration Targets for fish habitat.
Fluvial and adfluvial fish habitat will be enhanced and expanded. Invasive plant species currently present at the site will be treated with herbicide and physically removed. And this project will provide an important marsh and riparian habitat for the black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), a threatened species in Ohio, which was recorded at the Sand Run Summit Metro Park just across the river.
The project will also result in an important reduction of sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen loading by restoring the site’s natural ecological functionality. Restoring these numerous wetlands and riparian areas where the golf course currently sits will capture nutrient loading from residential runoff, and stop the massive amount of phosphorus from the fertilization practices of the golf course.