Baldwin Creek begins in North Royalton, and flows in a westerly direction through the cities of Parma, Middleburg Heights, Strongsville, and Berea before entering the East Branch of the Rocky River near the Berea Water Treatment Plant. It is home to Coe Lake, Lake Isaac, and the Bigmouth Shiner, a state-threatened fish. Land use in this 10-square mile watershed is dominated by post-war, pre-stormwater management residential development.
Like in most headwater streams and tributaries to the East Branch in southwest Cuyahoga County, the increased runoff from the watershed’s 25% impervious surface cover leads to flash storm surges, streambank erosion and downcutting of the stream channel, resulting in excessive sedimentation and severe impacts to the creek’s aquatic habitat. Recognizing these issues, the Rocky River Watershed Action Plan identifies Baldwin Creek as a critical area for the protection and restoration of stream channels and forested riparian corridors.
West Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the Rocky River Watershed Council, preserved a high priority property along the middle reach of Baldwin Creek in the City of Parma. The 17-acre site includes over 2200 feet of Baldwin Creek and small feeder streams, over two acres of forested wetland, pockets of vernal pools, and a vital reach of accessible floodplain, which helps to filter pollutants and reduce downstream flooding.
Though it’s located in one of the most densely populated communities of Greater Cleveland, the site is also 95% forested, providing much needed canopy cover to the stream and riparian area.
Funding for the project was provided by the Clean Ohio Greenspace Conservation Program and West Creek Conservancy.
Protecting & Restoring
Just upstream of the property depicted above, West Creek Conservancy has partnered with the City of North Royalton and Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District to restore an unnamed tributary that drains to Baldwin Creek.
In 2014, West Creek Conservancy successfully acquired the property, which protected much needed floodplain and riparian area along the corridor (in an area otherwise devoid of protected areas).
About 250 feet of the tributary began restoration in August 2015. A volunteer planting is scheduled for September 26 – please see our event page for details.
Protecting and restoring our urban streams is at the core of West Creek Conservancy’s mission, and we’re grateful for the partners helping us to make it happen!