Cuyahoga River Project Tours begin October 23

Grab a seat on the bus! The Cuyahoga River RAP/AOC will be hosting tours highlighting restoration and green infrastructure projects throughout the watershed. Tour #1 showcases four projects in Summit County. See what's been going on, learn how these projects were done, and take away tools for work in your community and watershed. For more information, download the flyer or contact Lynn Garrity at 216.241.2414 x255. Register by October 17. Space is limited.

We're pleased to announce that we've been awarded a Sustain Our Great Lakes grant to put another mile and a half of fish habitat structures in the most industrial stretch of the Cuyahoga River ship channel. This will help young fish as they travel between the natural river and Lake Erie, and help us increase fish population and diversity throughout the system.

Thanks to the SOGL partners, especially ArcelorMittal as a major partner in this endeavor. Learn more here. Go fish!

Cleveland Rows!

Students from around the region are meeting the river close up thanks to Cleveland Rowing Foundation programs.

See "Rowing is a melting pot at CSMD Rows and Cleveland Youth Rowing Association" by Plain Dealer's Tim Warsinskey (video and some great photos)

New Green Infrastructure projects in Brooklyn Heights and Glenwillow show the merits of permeable paving

The Village of Brooklyn Heights (top left) installed a porous concrete system in November 2013 at the Village Hall and the Community Center on Tuxedo Avenue, a green infrastructure project that will reduce stress on West Creek and the Cuyahoga. The project, carried out by Chagrin Valley Engineering and funded through GLRI and OhioEPA's Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF), involved removing almost 5,000 square feet of impervious asphalt and replaced it with pervious concrete that will manage runoff from 24,000 square feet of hard surface.

In the Village of Glenwillow (lower left), in the Tinker's Creek watershed, another 2,000 square feet of pervious concrete was installed at Village Hall to manage 7,600 square feet of impervious surface nearby. The project was again managed by CVE and funded by the generous folks at USEPA GLRI and OhioEPA.

Thanks to all who helped with Johnston Run's Riversweep cleanup.

You're the best!

Cuyahoga County Urban Tree Canopy
Assessment now online!

Thanks to Cuyahoga County Planning Commission's Dan Meaney, who managed the assessment, and Cleveland Metroparks' Steve Mather, who created the online map app, you can now see your community's, neighborhood's or watershed's tree canopy cover data down to the parcel level.

Go to (or click the image at left) and every time you zoom in you'll see a new level of information. Clicking on areas show land use pie charts. When you get really close, click on the interlocked circle symbols to bring up a link to the auditor's property information for each parcel.

The project was funded by a USDA Forest Service grant through ODNR, to both of whom we are eternally grateful.

Congratulations to the Mill Creek Watershed Partnership, officially announced at the Symposium.

Official partners to date include Cleveland, Garfield Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, North Randall, Highland Hills, Harvard Community Services Center, Union Miles Development Corp. and Slavic Village Development, along with support team members from the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, NEORSD, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, West Creek Conservancy, and the RAP.

State of the River 2013 Presentations
are now available for download!
See what you missed.

Independence SWIF project shows how neighborhood-based stormwater management can make a difference.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded The City of Independence a Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) Grant in the amount of $72,850 to improve the Dalepoint Road cul-de-sac. The funding will cover the cost of installing 3,700 square feet of porous concrete pavement that will promote the infiltration of stormwater runoff into the ground rather than be piped directly to a nearby watercourse.  The project will also include a specially designed bioretention cell that will treat runoff from the street during significant rain events, and will also serve to remove pollutants from snowpile meltwater during winter months.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of Summer 2013.  The project is managed by Chris Hartman of Chagrin Valley Engineering.

NEW! Cuyahoga ReLeaf brochures are available - and FREE!

Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, we are able to offer vast quantities of various urban watershed forestry brochures, and posters, too.

There's one for general distribution, explaining how important healthy forests are to watersheds and stream health.

There's one for municipal and township officials and community leaders telling of the economic, health and environmental benefits of supporting healthy trees, and how to keep your urban forest working (and funded).

And there's one especially for property owners and landscapers, about the right ways to plant and mulch and keep trees growing (not necessarily how it's been done forever.)

If you'd like to help us keep healthy trees and forests working for watersheds, contact us and we'll be happy to send a supply for you to distribute in your community.

You can download pdfs and see what they look like at our Cuyahoga ReLeaf webpage.


Cleveland Metroparks to manage lakefront parks...and conserve 155 acres of Euclid Creek watershed, too.

Six lakefront parks, over 400 acres stretching 14 miles along Lake Erie, will be managed by Cleveland Metroparks, at least for the next 99 years. The City of Cleveland turned over control, and $14 million in state funding, to the park system, who will use the funds to restore and improve park facilities to Metroparks standards.

The properties include Edgewater Park, the East 55th St. Marina, and Gordon, Villa Angela, Euclid Beach and Wildwood parks. Lakefront beaches present new challenges to the park system, and Director Brian Zimmerman has committed to making them clean and safe, not only in terms of aesthetics but also in terms of bacteria levels that rise after storm events.

While Wildwood sits at the mouth of Euclid Creek, the Metroparks' new Acacia Reservation will conserve 155 acres in Lyndhurst, at Cedar and Richmond Roads near the south headwaters of the same watershed. The purchase of the golf club by The Conservation Fund, a national organization, and its subsequent donation to the Metroparks, grows what Zimmerman calls an "inner Emerald Necklace" and supports its Euclid Creek Reservation, the only Metropark property serving east side suburbs.


It was as much a reclamation as a riparian restoration (lots of rocky soils) but our fantastic volunteers (170 of them!) planted, mulched and watered more than 150 trees.

Check out our ReLeaf page and see more photos at the Cuyahoga Releaf facebook page.

Thanks, all!

Hudson High has a new land lab as students, teachers and watershed partners bring a stream back to life.

After years of planning, the restoration of the stream at Hudson High School is complete. Thanks to partners including the City of Hudson, the school district, dedicated teachers and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, students won't have to go far to learn about the science of streams.

Click the pic for a Quicktime slide show of the dedication.

Check out more pics at the Nine Mile Creek web page.


Only four years after retrofitting a traditional stormwater retention basin in South Euclid to a bioretention basin with a series of ponds and weirs and native plantings, the site is a phenomenal, and absolutely beautiful, success.

Studies of water quality by John Carroll students have documented that the water going out is significantly cleaner than what comes in.

The new habitat is rich in wildlife, as small as the zillion grasshoppers, bees and butterflies and as large as the coyote and deer that visit to dine.

The public can view the area from a deck overlook at Green Road across from Notre Dame College, or while enjoying tea and lunch at an outdoor table at Koehn Scuptors' Sanctuary on Green. It's a great example of how green infrastructure can not only enrich a community's natural space but can provide economic development benefits as well.

Here's what that space looked like before the restoration:

We are proud to announce that CRCPO has received an
OUTSTANDING PROJECT 2012 AWARD for Watershed Stewardship Training from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund
for our Building Better Watersheds program.

The program brought together community leaders, officials and interested parties to train them in Balanced Growth principles, and provided hands-on training in identifying watershed functions and tying them to land use planning.

Kudos to the Cuyahoga County Public Library for installing bioswales throughout the parking lot at their new Warrensville Heights library branch. Go see them, and while you're there take a look at the proper way to mulch a tree.

THANKS to all who helped plant a new riparian buffer for Stickney Creek!

Thanks to Girl Scout Troop 1640, Jim Gazda and his Rhodes High students, Friends of Big Creek, Mayor Balbier and City Council and service department of Brooklyn and many other volunteers, we planted more than 120 trees and shrubs - buckeyes, birch and beech, oaks and maples, redbuds, dogwoods, sycamore and more. Thanks also to Urban Forester Alan Siewert and arborist Jen Braman for their expertise. And, of course, thanks to our funders and donors: Great Lakes Restoration, U.S. Forest Service, ODNR Division of Forestry, the City of Brooklyn, Darden Restaurants and Axent Graphics.

See more pics at our Cuyahoga River Community Planning Facebook gallery.

Ohio Lake Erie Commission endorses
Furnace Run Balanced Growth Watershed Plan

On March 21, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission gave its unanimous approval of the Furnace Run plan, developed by the Furnace Run Watershed Planning Partnership with the support of CRCPO.

The Partnership includes Richfield Village, Richfield Township, Bath Township, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Cuyahoga Falls and Boston Township, Metro Parks Serving Summit County and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The communities worked together to identify Priority Conservation, Development and Agricultural Areas in the watershed, to inform and direct land use decisions in the watershed communities. State endorsement makes these communities eligible for various financial incentives and assistance from a range of state agencies and programs.

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (aka Dike 14) now open every day, dawn to dusk

FEBRUARY 6, 2012 – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority officially opened the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve today,
providing public access to a unique 88-acre urban wildlife habitat.

The Preserve is a man-made peninsula on the Lake Erie shoreline and a haven for a variety of migratory birds, butterflies and animals. Located at the northern end of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Cleveland’s East Side, at the mouth of Doan Brook, it is open during daylight hours and provides one-of-a-kind recreational and educational opportunities for children and adults. Admission is free.

NEW in our Watershed Strategies Resource Library:

A Guide to Recognizing its Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits
(download 16M pdf) from Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers.

GEAUGA PARK DISTRICT This is where the Cuyahoga is born. Visit Burton Wetlands, put in your canoe or kayak at Eldon Russell Park, or hike the Headwaters Park.
Check out the Schedule of Events!


Get Out!
Download the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Event Schedule
'cause there's a lot happening in the Valley where the river lives.

CLEVELAND METROPARKS Cleveland Metroparks reservations are home to many tributaries of the Cuyahoga: Big Creek (the Zoo,) West Creek, Chippewa Creek (Brecksville Reservation,) Tinkers Creek (Bedford Reservation,) Garfield Park (Mill Creek.) Euclid Creek, part of the RAP Area of Concern, runs through the Euclid Creek Reservation. And the Chagrin and Rocky Rivers are at the hearts of their own Metroparks Reservations.

Click here for a calendar of activities.

PORTAGE PARKS Visit the Portage County Park District for fun activities,
check out the beavers at Towner's Woods, and hike the new Seneca Ponds Park in Tinkers Creek watershed.

Visit on the web at
Enjoy the sounds of nature!

METROPARKS SERVING SUMMIT COUNTY Summit Metroparks is home to Furnace Run and Sand Run, as well as Gorge MetroPark, one of the liveliest and loveliest stretches of the Cuyahoga.
Click for the Activities Calendar.

See the Plain Dealer's Year of the River series at

NEW! Download the City of Chicago GREEN ALLEYS HANDBOOK (3.7M pdf) and learn how permeable paving can work for your community.

Visit the online library of resources for more ideas, strategies and models of watershed stewardship.



This is the introduction and overview. Detailed information for each tributary watershed will be posted as individual chapters in the weeks to come.

The goal of this project is A ranking model has been developed to assist in identifying the “top wetland sites” in each tributary watershed of the Cuyahoga River AOC. By identifying wetland sites, this project will help expedite and focus efforts to meet mitigation needs, as well as make the best use of other public or private funding sources.

Increasing urbanization continues to degrade or eliminate wetlands. This study was undertaken to find out exactly where and how many of these natural storm water storage, water filtration and biohabitat features are left, and to evaluate their quality and ability to function.

Click here to go to the Wetlands page, where you can read the summary and/or download the entire report.

Contribute to a clean Cuyahoga with a
tax-deductible donation.

The Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization (CRCPO)
is host to the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and
the Cuyahoga American Heritage River Initiative.

We work with partners, stakeholders and communities
in five Northeast Ohio counties to restore and revitalize the
Cuyahoga River Watershed and Areas Of Concern, and
to improve water quality in the watershed and Lake Erie.

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CRCPO • 1299 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
216/241-2414 x610