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Langerdale Urban Marsh

Be sure to stop by the South Euclid Phoenix Coffee to see a photographic display of the Langerdale Urban Marsh done by a Notre Dame College Photography Class. Also be sure to visit the Langerdale Marsh for yourself by going to the observation deck located in the former Workmen’s Circle Parking Lot (1980 South Green Road).

Nine Mile Creek Wetlands/Langerdale Urban Marsh

In 2008, the City of South Euclid replaced the concrete Langerdale Retention Basin with an urban marsh. This urban marsh was one of the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio. The City also constructed an observation deck offering fantastic views of the marsh. The observation deck can be accessed by using the Workmen’s Circle Parking Lot, located at 1980 South Green Road, across the street from Notre Dame College. Sanctuary on Green, the Bavarian Tea House and Sculpture Studio located at 1936 South Green Road, also offers stunning views of the Langerdale Urban Marsh. Please read on to learn more about this very innovative project.

Nine Mile Creek Wetlands of South Euclid

Nine Mile Creek, so named because it reaches its outflow into Lake Erie in the Village of Bratenahl, nine miles from Cleveland’s Public Square, is so intensely urbanized that only small pockets of its course are open.  The creek is buried underground and sees the light of day again as it reaches its north end at Bratenahl.  The creek receives most of its surface water through storm drains.

Originally built in the early 1960s as a traditional “dry pond,” the concrete Langerdale retention basin drained 7.6 square miles into the Nine Mile Creek watershed.  The basin, which relegated the stream to a concrete channel, had overflowed twice, causing flooding to adjacent homes.  To this day, the basin fills up to the top of the dam on the north end during heavy rains. 

Recognizing the value of Nine Mile Creek as a tributary to Lake Erie and a critical component of the community’s green infrastructure, the City of South Euclid launched an effort to restore this urban stream, beginning with a retrofit of the retention basin.  Working closely with the city, Biohabitats Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio developed a design intended to achieve the goals of maximizing storage volume, augmenting aquatic habitat and minimizing long-term maintenance.

In the spring of 2008, the City of South Euclid replaced the Langerdale Retention Basin with a back-to-nature wetland that slows down the water flow, filters the water and prevents flooding.  The 10-acre project created a naturally vegetated wetland area with a series of 13 ponds and weirs that slow, hold, and filter sediment and pollution.  In addition, the project included a conservation easement on six acres in a forested section of the Nine Mile Corridor at the north end of the city. The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and the Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator were partners in the project.

Construction included many green features. Concrete from the removed channel was reused on site, excavated soil was used in another South Euclid project, and topsoil was stock piled and reused. 13,000 native plants were planted in the fall of 2008.  South Euclid also built an overlook for the community to enjoy the vistas and animal life of the wetlands.  This project is one of the first green infrastructure retention basin retrofits in Cuyahoga County and in an inner-ring suburb.

Notre Dame College Photography Students in Professor Malinda Smyth’s Class have been photographing the Langderdale Marsh over the past few months as a class project. To see the complete display, be sure to visit South Euclid’s Phoenix Coffee.

Take a look at the photos below to see the progress of this great project:


In spring of 2008, work began to convert the Langerdale Retention basin from this:

to this, a new wetland in one of Cleveland’s inner-ring suburbs (click here to see a larger version)

Beginning the dig

to put in the new (light grey horizontal stripes are the new weirs)

weir, a little closer.

13 weirs from north to south

even without roots to filter it, the water in the last ponds is clearer than that in the first ones

Biohabitats and Hovancsek staff check a middle weir where storm drainage from Green Road enters the system

and our first new residents check out pond #1

(photos courtesy of  Biohabitats of Cleveland, Great lakes Bioregion)

The Completed Project