Bryan Davis drives as Josh Neuman stabilizes the water tank and Jordan Enis waters plantings in the newly widened ditch at Sylvan Prairie Park. The project is to aid in flood control.
A conservation project that features an extra-wide ditch at Olander Park System’s Sylvan Prairie Park in Sylvania is being touted as a way to promote stream restoration.
Erika Buri, park conservation manager, said the ditch will show what can be done to address local stormwater and environmental issues.
The park system conducted a smaller, trial project on another ditch, near the north end of Sylvan Prairie Park before pursuing the current project, funded with a $185,000 award from an Ohio EPA program.
Although modeled after the first project, the larger project has many differences.
The initial project was about 100 linear feet, and the new project is about 3,000, Ms. Buri said.
She explained that it will widen the ditch to create a functional floodplain and help with stormwater retention. If a flood occurs, the channel can hold five times its current capacity.
“It reduces flooding further down the stream,” she said.
Native plants have been planted to help stabilize the bank. Rather than putting in rocks, “we’re going to widen the base of the ditch and create kind of a linear wetland,” she said.
The base of the ditch will be increased to 30 feet, forcing the stream to form its own channel.
The health of the stream is dependent on elements such as sediment and nutrient trapping, Ms. Buri said.
Project partners include the Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District and the Lucas County Engineer’s Office, both of which have donated time and planning work.
D&K Excavating of Perrysburg recently was awarded the contract for the work.
Sylvania Northview High School students in Tami Blue’s interactive media class have designed interpretive signs to educate the public about the site.
“They talk about what kind of fish species live in that stream,” Ms. Buri said, adding that many of the fish are small species.