Restored Ohio creek reduces flooding

Project Summary: A restored creek will reduce flooding near a suburban Cleveland high school. Students at the school helped design and complete the project.


Project name: Hudson High School Stream Restoration and Land Lab.

Location: Hudson High School, about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Description: An unnamed tributary of Tinker’s Creek that flows through Hudson High School, near Cleveland, had been severely altered in the past. Tinker’s Creek is a tributary of Lake Erie. Before the high school was built, the area was farmland and the tributary was channelized, disconnected from its floodplain and used as a drainage ditch. As farmland gave way to urbanization the area’s hydrology changed again, sending greater flows of stormwater down the tributary, increasing the danger of flooding downstream. Faster flows of water meant nutrients and pollution could not be filtered as effectively. The stream banks became increasingly eroded, which sent more sediment downstream and degraded river bottom habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish. After years of planning, a coalition restored the tributary. The project reconnected the stream to its floodplain, restored habitat, improved water quality, reduced the volume of stormwater that is discharged downstream, and enhanced the school’s environmental curriculum. The work transformed the stagnant ditch into a living laboratory for students at Hudson High School, who helped design the project. Students also planted 550 shrubs and 1,100 grass plugs on the banks of the creek, which added to the 250 trees that work crews planted.

A view of the restored Tinker's Creek as it flows near Hudson High School. Photo courtesy of Babette Oestreicher.

A view of the restored Tinker’s Creek as it flows near Hudson High School. Photo courtesy of Babette Oestreicher.

Approximate cost of project: $687,808.

Resource challenges addressed: Urban flooding, polluted runoff, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, loss of wetlands and ecosystem fragmentation.

Key partners (public and private): Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners, City of Hudson, Hudson High School, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Ohio EPA provided $398,000 in federal Clean Water Act funding, the city of Hudson contributed $250,000, the board of health provided nearly $20,000, and the school district contributed personnel and other in-kind services worth nearly $90,000.

Types of jobs created: Biologists, ecologists, landscape architects, heavy equipment operators, general laborers.

Results and accomplishments: The project restored 2,000 linear feet of stream, along with an adjoining meadow and forested wetland. The project provides storage for about two million gallons of storm water without flooding nearby streets or properties. A 6.28-acre conservation easement will protect the site.

Web site:

Originally Published: July 22, 2013
Updated: March 3, 2015

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