Cascade Creek Sedimentation Control and Educational Project
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park
Basin Program Funds:
Cascade Creek is an urban stream experiencing streambank erosion and sedimentation
in many places where vegetation is minimal. A portion of the stream running
through an arboretum provides a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about
the relationship between vegetation and water quality.
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park is an outdoor classroom, using trees
for all types of education, including the sciences and environmental education.
Running through Frontier Park is Cascade Creek, an urban stream that is strongly
influenced by stormwater flows. Although urban sediments contaminate the stream,
the water quality is good enough to support annual stocking of trout and runs
of steelhead trout for breeding. However, the stream is in need of additional
trees for shading to enhance the stream ecology and increase the root mat,
providing streambank stability and filtering of nutrients. This project seeks
to improve the water quality of Cascade Creek as it runs through Frontier
Park and to provide an educational opportunity to learn about the relationship
between vegetation and water quality. The quality of water and sediments in
Cascade Creek have special significance as they directly affect the water
quality of Presque Isle Bay, a designated Area of Concern (AOC).
Additionally, this project will provide education regarding
the importance of trees in riparian buffer zones by creating informational
stations that demonstrate the relationship between plant material and water
quality for visitors. The selection and availability of the types of trees
that will grow streamside and in floodplains will be helpful as a demonstration
project and each of the types of trees will be labeled.
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) solicited volunteers from various
landscape companies to plant 183 trees along Cascade Creek. LEAF staff designed,
constructed and installed information stations along the creek that describe
the riparian buffer and the positive effects it has on a water system as well
as identification labels for the newly planted trees. LEAF also designed and
purchased a nature center display. To facilitate dissemination of project
information, LEAF updated their website to include photos, illustrations and
text describing the riparian buffer system.
LEAF has provided three different sources by which the community can gain
knowledge as to the importance of minimizing the effect of sediments on the
Great Lakes through the existence of a riparian buffer zone; a nature center
display, a web site and informational stations located throughout the park.
LEAF conducted an Arbor Day Celebration and a LEAF festival in which 400 students
and visitors learned about the importance of trees to the environment and/or
enjoyed the newly placed amenities in the park.
As a result of this project, thousands of community members
who visit the park, read the signs and/or visit the Nature Center will be
made aware of the importance of trees in controling soil erosion and sedimentation.
The riparian buffer will help improve water quality in the creek and provide
improved habitat for birds, fish and other aquatic life.
Contact: Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park, (814) 825-3253
Click to see additional images.