Bob Downing

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County is continuing a major stream restoration project in northern Summit County.

The park commissioners on Tuesday hired Kentís Davey Resource Group for $451,900 to restore 5,000 linear feet of once-ditched Pond Brook, a Tinkers Creek tributary, in Liberty Park.

Tinkers Creek is a major Cuyahoga River tributary.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is providing $326,900 in federal funds for the stream work, north of state Route 82 in Twinsburg Township. The park district provided the local match of $125,000.

The targeted section of Pond Brook is channelized and entrenched. The park district plans to restore a natural flow to the stream by reducing its channel width and establishing meanders in a 120-foot-wide floodplain.

In-stream habitat will be restored by installing 1,100 tons of stone and other natural materials, and the floodplain and stream bank will be re-vegetated with more than 7,000 shrubs and trees.

The restoration effort is expected to significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments discharging from Pond Brook into Tinkers Creek and improve overall water quality in the watershed.

The park district has upgraded part of the main stream plus two tributaries since 2007 in Twinsburg Township and Reminderville.

In other news, the park district has completed two stream restoration projects on Furnace Run in Boston and Richfield townships.

That required adding 2,000 tons of limestone rocks to stabilize 700 feet of eroding bank along the stream near the Everett Road Covered Bridge in Boston Township, a $200,000 project, said Mike Johnson, chief of resource management for the park district.

In addition, 700 tons of rock were added to a 300-foot section of stream near Brecksville Road in Richfield Township to enable fish to move upstream again.

Previously, there was a 4-foot drop that kept fish from moving upstream.

The commissioners also agreed to spend $543,550 in 2013 on new park equipment. Items range from vehicles and computers to log splitters. That dollar total is down 5.7 percent from 2012.

Commissioners also agreed to spend up to $24,000 to purchase 49 laser-beamed counters to tally vehicles and hikers on park roadways and on trails.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.