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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District awards contract for additional improvements to Stanford Run watershed in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Oct. 12, 2021
Updated: Oct. 12, 2021
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District (USACE) substantially completed the Stanford Run ecosystem restoration project located within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in Summit County, Ohio, in early January 2020.

Water flowing through the restored Stanford Run stream channel at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District's Stanford Run ecosystem restoration project at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County, Ohio, Jan. 6, 2020. This project will reduce flow build-up behind the current culvert, re-establish the Stanford Run stream channel to its more natural setting, and restore a more natural state in-line with the CVNP mission. Photo provided by Christopher Davis.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District awarded a $50,000 contract to Buffalo, New York-based Armitage Architecture, P.C. on September 24 for additional vegetation planting to improve the Stanford Run watershed located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Stanford Run watershed project reestablishes connectivity to the Cuyahoga River under the Ohio and Erie Canal towpath. The project began in 2017 and was substantially completed in January 2020. Additional vegetation planting builds on the project’s success and is scheduled to start in late October 2021.

The project is the result of ongoing collaboration between USACE and the National Park Service, with funding provided over two years through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The work scheduled for October is made possible thanks to additional funding from the USEPA.

“U.S. EPA is delighted to see the Stanford Run habitat restoration project being implemented in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” said U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office Director Chris Korleski. “This project serves as yet another example of the excellent results that can be achieved through federal agency partnerships and also demonstrates the continuing success of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to restore and protect the Great Lakes and its tributaries.”

“The Cuyahoga River, a symbol of ecosystem renewal, is the center piece of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and restoring tributary connections is an important part of reviving the health of the Cuyahoga’s watershed,” said CVNP Superintendent Lisa Petit. “We are grateful for the incredible partnership and collaboration we have with USACE and USEPA. We could not accomplish this work without it.”

“As a native to this region of Ohio and an outdoor enthusiast, I’m excited to see how much benefit the Stanford Run watershed improvement and other USACE projects in partnership with CVNP and the EPA are having on the local community and the millions of people who visit the park every year,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, commander of the Buffalo District.

Stanford Run became degraded when sediments built up in the floodplain and blocked a stone culvert under the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Eventually, the stream channel filled in upstream of the blockage, which backed up sediments in another culvert under Stanford Road. The blocked culvert at Stanford Road diverted flow north into an adjacent watershed, where it caused massive erosion and habitat degradation.

Work already completed includes installation of a new box culvert under the Towpath Trail that is sized to accommodate present-day storm flows and restore a major portion of the stream. Native trees and shrubs were planted along the stream banks. Sediment from the blocked culvert under Stanford Road was removed, allowing stream flow to return to the channel. Restoring Stanford Run to its historic alignment should allow natural processes to take over and supports CVNP’s mission to preserve and protect the natural, scenic and historic values of the park. This is the largest habitat restoration project completed so far at CVNP.

The Erie Canal Towpath is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a recreational trail through the park. Additionally, an historic stone arch culvert structure is located on the Towpath within the project area. Both of these historic features will be preserved.

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.

For additional information about the GLRI program visit: https://www.glri.us/


Contact
Avery Schneider
716-879-4410
716-628-1498 (cell)
avery.p.schneider@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-019