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Published: Monday, 3/3/2014

Sylvania seeks park funds

Project aims to help prevent erosion at Harroun Community Park


Sylvania city officials are seeking $82,000 in federal grant money for a $105,000 project that aims to help prevent erosion at Harroun Community Park.

The project that would consist of a bio-retention cell or "rain garden."

The other $23,000 would be paid by the city and St. Joseph Parish.

The rain garden would include plants to absorb water runoff from the nearby parking lot, keeping sediment out of Ten Mile Creek.

Kevin Aller, Sylvania city service director, said he believes the city's odds of landing such a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are good.

After a heavy rainfall, excess water from the parking lot, shared by the park and St. Joseph Parish, flows into a dirt pathway, creating knee-deep crevices.

The dirt slides down the path into Ten Mile Creek, steepening the sloped walkway and creating a hazard for walkers and bikers.

For years, the City of Sylvania’s Parks and Forestry Department has tried to prevent erosion by grading the path, which begins at the park parking lot off of Main Street, and slopes between the outdoor amphitheater and the historical Lathrop House. However, the grading was for maintenance, Mr. Aller said.

If a bio-retention cell was installed, it would regulate the water, enabling it to drain using certain soils, explained Joe Shaw deputy service director.

Dimensions of the proposed rain garden are about 130 feet long by 25 feet wide. 

The plants would have elongated roots that would grow over time. The more mature plants are, the more water would be absorbed.

The project could begin in July. Councilmen approved the request to apply for the grant. 

The service department has a back-up plan if the money is not awarded. It would consist of constructing an additional storm sewer instead of the bio-retention cell.

The cost would be about $36,000, about $18,000 for materials and $18,000 for labor. It would be undertaken by city crews, and would be scheduled for spring. Capital improvement funds would pay for the city's portion.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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