What a trip Tommy and I had this weekend on our site visit! We met with two people at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and discussed the impact of stormwater and gathered information about the Doan Brook Watershed. Th visit was very informative and we took lots of pictures; even went on a nature hike exploring the marshes and the many different types of invasive and native plants in the area.
While on our site visit, we mapped out regions of ecological foci. Forests were mapped as young, moderate, or mature, and we also took note of topography, density, soil types (for as much as we knew), and habitat. We followed the entire length of the watershed. The first area we found interesting was a parking--> slope--> basin--> wetland park. It was very interesting to note that someone was able to efficiently control stormwater in a way we learned about in class.
The next place we found interesting was an area where we found the watershed being split in two: on either side of the railroad. We found controlled, engineered concrete ditches on either side. These are not ideal because they increase stormwater flow. To help the environment, I threw some rocks in the way!
Down along the railroad, we found a stormwater management failure. Because of sedimentation and erosion, a split occurred in an engineered depression to channel the water, resulting in breakage. We noticed concrete pavers used to slow down the stormwater, but because the system was broken it was almost useless. We determined that the system was used to control stormwater away from the railway.
Finally, we visited many vacant sites. One in particular seemed to be an abandoned house left after a fire. We couldn't help but wonder what happened to the site. We saw nature already beginning to take over. The site was littered with garbage as well. We were surprised by the amount of vacant sites we found.
Overall, the visit was very successful. We would like to thank the rain for allowing us to document stormwater firsthand. We are excited to see how this analysis will play out. More information to come this week.
The Dugway Brook Watershed (Cleveland, East Side) is approx. 9 square miles and contained within the cities of Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and University Heights. Most of the watershed has been culverted, meaning it runs underground through storm sewer pipes. This was done in order to make room for urban development. Approximately 94% of the watershed has been developed. In only a select few areas is the watershed developed: Forest Hill Park in Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights, and Bratenahl before entering Lake Erie.
Nine Mile Creek is the same story. Only small pockets of the watershed are exposed. Nine Mile Creek runs through the communities of University Heights, South Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Cleveland and Bratenahl. It drains approximately 18 square miles and is 11 miles long.
The question I asked while doing my research was: Why was their such a need to enclose these valuable watersheds? After further reseach, I found out that urban development was in fact, the primary concern. In 1912 the Ohio Board of Health approached the City of Cleveland with concern for the contamination into the watershed. Today, the watershed experiences nutrient overflow and stormwater drainage through pipes. This project we will be looking more into the impacts of stormwater and stormwater management and how people and development are affecting ecology.
To conclude our analysis of water as a system, we focused on water particularly in residential areas. We focused on a sub-division in the Southwest corner of the Westcreek watershed; an area that receives headwater to the tributary. We chose this area because we recognized that the best way to control stormwater is to control the source of pollutation: at the headwater areas.
We took the treatment train approach, which is "a series of treatment measures that collectively address all stormwater pollutants." Our mapping analysis contained hydric soil locations, topo, roads, and boundary lines (see slides below).
Our design was to create an effective stormwater control system that filtered and infiltrated water. We also created an ideal subdivision that incorporated stormwater by adjusting to hydric soils and by using porous surfaces that help absorb and filter stormwater. Swales, constructed wetlands, elevated pathways, sediment basins, and inlet/outlet areas were all used in this design.
•By utilizing existing open space within the residential fabric, analyzing existing surface conditions, and appropriating proper wetland locations and treatment train plan we were able to design new sustainable homes that were influence by and worked with the natural landscape
•In addition to new homes, a community plan of renovating residential impervious surfaces and reducing the use of pesticides is promoted throughout the surrounding existing homes
•While a single home is a near fraction of the size of other commercial/industrial uses, the density and quantity make residential fabric some of the most influential within a watershed. By both renovating the existing, creating new, and living by example, a more diverse solution it created to the problem thus allowing for more significant effects on a more universal scale
Rural-urban categorization system is touted as effective in coding, education, and design. The Transect, a new model for planning and coding the New Urbanism, is beginning to be employed in regional planning. Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) employs transect design and conducts research which was used in our analysis.
This week, we explored the suburbs in greater detail by first establishing a mapping analysis of the different urban systems in the area. Vegetation and natural systems, streets, highways, topo, zoning, and sub-divisions were all incorporated into our study. In an effort to define and recognize open space, we noted areas of future and present open space conditions and recognized the connections that could be gained through the redevelopment or through establishing new open spaces.
Below is pictured a final result of the study:
Orange: Township lines
Purple: Future Open Space
The study was very effective, and by taking out the aerial view I was able to identify relationships better.
In our next series of studies, we conducted an analysis of 2 major transects and 4 minor transects. We established an area of reference, being the Cuyahoga River, and produces diagrams comparing the East side with the West side. We included one natural diagram and one cultural diagram on both sides of the river. The analysis was meant to be abstract and a way to recognize connections.
After a series of transect designs, we conducted a more in-depth analysis of possible areas of open space. We chose 3 areas that incorporated multiple systems. We looked for areas to redefine; make connections. Our first site involved taking an existing wetland and developing a strategy for flood control and stormwater prevention. We also wanted to preserve the existing forest and develop the land to west by turning it into a passive park.
The second site was on the west side of the Cutahoga River as well. We wanted to extend the Buckeye trail to an existing maintained open field and redefine the space to include a recreational park with possible frisby golf, hiking trails, and temporary structures to help benefit the community and to connect the residential areas to the east and west.
The third site was in an industrial region. We looked into vacant and foreclosed buildings and proposed the concept of public space within the boundaries of exterior walls. We felt the idea was weak and involved a lot of research in terms of deconstruction costs and benefits of the space in the area. Considering we have to pull off a final project in three days, we suggested a different route. More information after the break.
Brandon E. Young