Rain gradens, bioswales, permeable pavement, rainwater harvesting cisterns and green roofs are just some of the types of green infrastructure that are used to detain, infiltrate and filter stormwater before it has a chance to enter the sewer system. These projects have been constructed throughout the city on both public and private land.
During the design and construction stages, the Greenspace program reviews project specifications, contributes planting designs and performs construction oversight for quality assurance and the overall success of a project.
Several stormwater and sewer separation projects are taking place in our parks. Ault Park’s Valley Trail stream was recently restored to keep the natural flow out of the combined system. Sewer inlets which allowed stream flow to enter the combined sewer were closed off. The stream bed was improved with creek stone and step pools and the banks were stabilized with live stake plantings. Other stream improvement projects are occurring in Rapid Run Park, Glenway Woods and Mt. Airy Forest.
Greenspace has implemented several large reforestation efforts mostly throughout the Lick Run watershed, located on the west side of Cincinnati. By strategically removing invasive species, such as honeysuckle and garlic mustard, a diverse forest can develop which will stabilize hillsides, intercept rainfall, reduce surface flow and provide significant stormwater abatement.
In an effort to learn from and improve upon the sustainable stormwater controls, Greenspace performs quarterly inspections. Reports are generated from each inspection to help track the condition and performance of the green infrastructure and to provide guidance to property owners. Additionally, Cincinnati Parks has been contracted to maintain several of the completed projects.
As a partner to MSD, Cincinnati Parks works to strengthen community support and involvement. Cincinnati Parks leads group tours, participates with open house meetings, assists with neighborhood projects and generates volunteerism.
Many of the stormwater project that have been accomplished would not have been possible without the use of volunteers. Clearing honeysuckle, painting tress and installing log contours are all examples of the large scale projects that only happen with the help of volunteers.