Ottawa Hills Floodplain Plantings
Completing a project that began with removal of a dam in 2007, TMACOG and partners recently completed remediation of a floodplain area near Secor Road in Ottawa Hills.
The project started in 2007 when ODOT demolished a dangerous dam and TMACOG and partners performed initial remediation. That work, in partnership with the Village of Ottawa Hills, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University, included restoring water flow for aquatic life, stabilizing the river banks with large stones and some planting on the banks.
In August, 2009, project manager Matt Horvat worked with an urban forester from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and local experts including Blanchard Tree Service to select and plant a variety of trees and shrubs above the streambank in the area immediately adjacent to where the dam was removed. The area is a floodplain that holds water every spring and during other rainy periods. The additional trees and shrubs will do more than beautify the area. Trees and shrubs will stabilize the soil and reduce erosion. They also provide shade for the river which keeps the water cooler. Cooler water holds more oxygen which will encourage healthy fish and other aquatic life.
The plants selected are native to the area and flood-tolerant. Horvat also looked for fast-growing shrubs with deep roots that will hold the soil in place when water rises and recedes. To decide where to place plants, Horvat looked at the existing canopy. He also considered that there are several dead or dying ash trees (victims of the emerald ash borer) and planted to fill the gaps that will be left when they are logged out or fall. Planting was also designed to screen the view of Secor Road and block traffic noise for Ottawa Hills residents.
Matt Horvat is TMACOG’s Maumee River Coordinator and the project manager for the dam project.