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Stream Restoration

Rainbow darters thrive in clean streams with meanders and riffles, like Furnace Run and Pond Brook post-restoration work.

Updated October 30, 2013

Furnace Run | Pond Brook

Summit Metro Parks manages natural-area parks and conservation areas. In recent years, that management effort has included the restoration of stream channels in two significant locations.

Furnace Run
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency considers Furnace Run one of the highest quality tributaries to the Cuyahoga River. Fortunately, the vast majority of this stream is projected by Summit Metro Parks and our partners at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Still, there has been significant development within the watershed, and we are seeing some of those impacts manifested in the stream channel and its water quality.

Through a generous grant from the Ohio EPA, Summit Metro Parks is implementing plans to both protect and restore sections of this stream. Several areas are currently undergoing improvements. In 2011, Metro Parks completed the restoration of Rock Creek, which runs adjacent to Brush Lake in Furnace Run Metro Park. The stream was formerly channelized and was eroding into the berm of the lake, threatening to undermine its stability. Restoration efforts in this section focused on raising the grade of the stream, moving it away from the lake berm, and developing riffles, runs, and pools to improve in-stream habitat. Also completed in 2011 was a partnership project to bury a major gas line that erosion had exposed. Working with our partners at Dominion, the pipeline crossing was lowered below the grade of the stream, and improvements were made to stabilize the banks and increase aquatic habitat.


Two major projects remain and will be completed in 2012. First, stream bank stabilization is currently under construction near the covered bridge at Everett Road. This area has experienced massive erosion the past few years, resulting in the loss of acres of farm fields and the forced movement of trails. Second, Summit Metro Parks is reconnecting isolated stretches of the Furnace Run mainstem. The Brecksville Road bridge over Furnace Run is presently a barrier to fish migration and prevents many species from accessing spawning areas upstream. Restoration activities will focus on raising the grade of the stream so fish can navigate into the headwaters of Furnace Run.

Metro Parks would like to thank the following partners on this important project:

Dominion Ohio EPA
Village of Richfield Richfield Township.
Summit County Engineer Oxbow River & Stream Restoration
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Friends of Metro Parks

Pond Brook
Ohio EPA - Environmental Review 10-30-13 (4.2 MB)

Despite its name, Pond Brook in Liberty Park was nothing like a babbling brook, and it was far from picturesque, after nearly 100 years of abuse. Beginning in the early part of the last century and continuing to modern times, Pond Brook was ditched, drained, moved, dammed, deforested, de-vegetated and devoid of most living things. The reasons include draining for agriculture, development and flood control. In many instances, however, these actions were simply considered better for the human environment, and many projects were classified as land reclamation. 

Today, we know better. The value of healthy wetlands and free flowing streams is being realized around the world. Natural is better not only for wildlife, but for people.

So for several years, Summit Metro Parks has been working with a coalition of private partners and government agencies to restore the natural character of Pond Brook, located in the Pond Brook Conservation Area. More than one mile of the corridor and over 2,000 feet of Stream Channel 25, a headwater tributary, have been restored. To date, the work done on the main stem of Pond Brook has been funded through a mitigation project sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Stream Channel 25 is being financed, in part, through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.


Formal monitoring took place for the first time in 2009, and results since have been encouraging. Early fish surveys showed a significant reduction in non-native carp and an increase in IBI scores (an index that uses fish to measure water quality).

In addition to the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, we are grateful to the following partners who helped make this project possible:

City of Twinsburg Wetlands Resource Center
Village of Reminderville EMH&T, Inc.
Friends of Metro Parks Oxbow River and Stream Restoration
United States Army The River Institute
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Davey Resource Group
Summit County Engineer




Did You Know?

Many beech trees are partially hollow and provide excellent den sites for squirrels, raccoons and opossums. Wood ducks often nest in the hollows of old sycamore trees.

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