News & Events . . . . . . . . . . . .

Board of Trustees
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
6:30 p.m.


Media coverage

"Trail and greenway planners envision a greener, healthier, more connected future for Cuyahoga County," Steven Litt, cleveland.com: June 13, 2014.

"The Friends of Big Creek take a hike and explore the Oxbow area, " By Mark Holan, Special to the Sun News, March 17, 2014.

"Community Uses Green Space To Combat Storm Water," by Karen Schaefer, WOSU Public Media, August 2, 2013.

"I Did It: Created a watershed group for Big Creek; Small acts for Big Creek," GreenCityBlueLake, February, 2013.

"Friends of Big Creek bring native plants to Parma High," Jack Marschall (Jack's Corner), January 10, 2013, Parma Sun Post.

"Preserving the past, preserving the future: Historical home being restored, sold to preserve Big Creek land," July 17, 2011, by Jaime Anton, The Post.

"Preservation group rehabbing historical North Royalton home on Ridge Road," July 7, 2011, by Sara Macho, Sun News.

"Brooklyn Big Creek Watershed Clean Up turns into fun for volunteers and boy scouts," June 11, 2011, by Mark Holan, Sun News.

"Hikers explore Parma conservation area: West Creek Committee, city share ownership after purchase from Busch family."
Parma Sun Post 05/05/2011 by Mark Holan

"Brook Park considers plan to improve Big Creek watershed"
Sun News 12/02/2010 by Ken Baka

"Parma should preserve land, add storm water detention at Parmatown, study says"
Sun News
11/19/2010 by Bob Sandrick (This article appeared in the 11/18/2010 print issue as "Watershed study challenges Big Creek planners."

"Parma Heights passes resolution for balanced growth initiative"
Sun News
11/16/2010 by Mark Holan

"Group is promoting a cleaner watershed."
Feature article about FOBC by Ken Baka in the Parma Sun Post 9/24/2009.

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) Watershed Grant
NEORSD recognizes that watershed organizations play an important role in helping local governments and residents address flooding, erosion, and water quality concerns through innovative stormwater management practices, and stream and wetland restoration, and that this work compliments the NEORSD's commitment to clean water and supports the goals of the Stormwater Management Program. NEORSD further recognizes the funding challenges faced by watershed organizations. To address this issue and in an effort to build and grow organizations' capabilities, NEORSD instituted a competitive Watershed Grant Program to provide support for staffing and operating costs of qualified watershed organizations.

FOBC is proud to announce qualification and receipt of a Watershed Grant for the fourth year under this program. We are pleased to be a project partner in this program and look forward to contributing to NEORSD's goals for sustainable stormwater management and infrastructure solutions.


Acceptance of the The Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan by the Brooklyn City Council.
April 13, 2009
Brooklyn Sun article [pdf]

Big Creek Greenway Trail Plan

Master Plan Report February 2009 - prepared by the Floyd Browne Group [17.4MB pdf ]
Appendix A - Development Guidelines [pdf]
Appendix B - Master Plan Maps [15.8MB pdf]
Appendix C - Parcel Ownership Maps [pdf]
Appendix D - Cost Estimates [pdf]
Appendix E - Frequently Asked Trail Questions [pdf]


Adoption of the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan by the Cleveland City Planning Commission
February 6, 2009

Thanks to all the contributing partners and all who have stood in support of this plan that is so important to Cleveland, the Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods, and to the Big Creek watershed. The plan will be added to the update of the city master plan (Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan). It is a major step toward the next phases: funding, engineering, construction and more.

Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan
prepared by Floyd Browne Group in association with schmidtcopelandparkerstevens, June 2008. Project partners: Cleveland Metroparks, City of Cleveland, Ohio Canal Corridor, Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.

The plan presents "a new vision for the Valley Greenway. The creation of this vision incorporates detailed future land use, public access, infrastructure, ecological restoration and environmental regeneration, open space and trail linkages and economic development concepts."

Download report [pdf]. Please note large file size - 79MB. For faster viewing, download specific sections:

Section One: 1. Introduction; 2. Valley Resources; 3. Public Involvement; 4. Trail Route Alternatives; 5. Trail & Greenway Concept (Upland & Valley Trail Descriptions (19MB)
Section Two: 7. Environmental Regeneration Efforts; 8. Suggested Land Use Changes (Camping Site, Adventure Sports Site, Harshaw Chemical Site, Ecological Restoration - Henninger Landfill, Martin Enterprises Aggregates, Brookside Auto Recycling Yard); 8. Priorities & Next Steps; 9. Funding Strategies (34MB)
Appendix A - Development Guidelines (384K)
Appendix B - Master Plan Maps (27MB)
Appendix C - Cost Estimate (230K)
Appendix D - Public Meetings (160K)


Study grants:

August 10, 2007 - Trail Alignment Study - TLCI Grant awarded
FOBC and project partners were awarded funding for a feasibility study to connect the Cleveland Metroparks Brookside and Big Creek Reservations with a trail alignment through the City of Brooklyn. FOBC, Cleveland Metroparks, and the cities of Cleveland and Parma join the City of Brooklyn as co-sponsors for the $75,000 study ($60,000 grant with a $15,000 local match) funded by the federal Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) grant program.

The Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan will examine potential linkages with surrounding neighborhoods as well as Brooklyn municipal/office/retail areas. The all purpose trail network will provide a safe alternative mode of transportation for its users and identify opportunities for interpretive exhibits and ecological restoration.
  - Brooklyn Sun Journal Aug. 23, 2007 [pdf]
  - FOBC News release [pdf]

May 7, 2007 - Watershed Management Plan - CMAG Grant awarded
Big Creek watershed communities of Brooklyn, Parma, Parma Heights, Brook Park, and the southwest wards of Cleveland partner with FOBC and the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to develop a comprehensive community plan for the Big Creek Watershed. The RAP was awarded a $20,000 (with 50% local match) Ohio Coastal Management Assistance Grant to develop the first phase of a Watershed Management Plan—data collection and analysis of information for Watershed Inventory, Assessment and Problem Definition.
  - Coastal Management Assistance Grants award news release: www.ohiodnr.com/news/may07/0522coastalgrants.htm
  - FOBC news release [pdf]


Old Brooklyn News June 2008 [pdf 8.6MB]

Archive coverage in the Sun News:
Brooklyn Sun Journal Dec. 8, 2005 "Towpath, park links eyed"
Brooklyn Sun Journal Dec. 29, 2005 "City will not use eminent domain to create bike trail"
Brooklyn Sun Journal Apr. 27, 2006 "Group helps protect Big Creek"
Brooklyn Sun Journal Jul. 20, 2006 "'Friends' explore city's 'Kingdom' for trail links"

Conceptual plans for proposed trail alignments


Recent FOBC Events . . . . . . . . . . .

Greater Cleveland Trails & Greenways Conference 6/12


Treadway Creek Trail Reopening Celebration
May 23, 2014

Harmody Park - 1700 Mayview Ave.
More info


16th Annual Big Creek Watershed Cleanup
May 31, 2014

Locations:
Brookfield Park – Brookfield Ave. (Off W. 130th), Cleveland
Brooklyn Fire Station – (8400 Memphis, Brooklyn)
Snow Road Picnic Area along Big Creek Parkway – Parma and Parma Heights
More info | Flyer


""25th Annual RiverSweep
May 10, 2014

Ohio Canal Corridor's done-in-a-day cleanup effort.
Big Creek/Lower Harvard location: Meet at Iron City Café, 4002 Jennings Rd at Harvard Ave., 44109. FLYER


24th Annual RiverDay
May 17, 2014
Big Creek: Historic Lower Big Creek Valley Tour
A tour of area history hidden under the Pearl Road (Brooklyn-Brighton) Bridge: two of Cleveland's earliest settlements and adjoining industry, historic bridge remnants and other infrastructure. Plans for the valley Greenway. FOBC booth at Pop-up Pearl Complete Street Fair above the valley. Sponsored by FOBC and Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.


Pre-construction Wetland Tour
Fern Hill Picnic Area
April 4, 2014

Tour of the site that will treat stormwater from upland areas using a created wetland near Big Creek. More...


""

St. Pat's Weekend Walk
March 15, 2014

Explore a hidden treasure -- Brooklyn's "Oxbow" -- & learn about unique wetland habitat in abandoned streambed PLUS plans to conserve, enhance & connect area with larger Big Creek greenway/trail system.


VALENTINE'S VALLEY WALK
February 15, 2014

Winter walk on Treadway Creek Trail -- 1.3 mile (round-trip) all-purpose trail starting at Harmody Park. Plans for the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration. Thanks to Ann for the chili, hot chocolate, coffee & desserts!
""


Holiday Open House 12/11


Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Partnership Meeting
November 6, 2013
Parma Heights

Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Community representatives met for the 3rd Annual Balanced Growth Partnership Meeting at Parma Heights Cassidy Theatre.

  • Welcome by Honorable Michael P. Byrne, Mayor of the City of Parma Heights
  • Balanced Growth Program update and Municipal Code Review checklist – Sandra Kosek-Sills, Ohio Lake Erie Commission
  • Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Plan & Implementation to date – Bob Gardin, FOBC
  • Big Creek Watershed Stormwater Retrofit Project Phase 2: – Bob Gardin, FOBC and John Stein, Tetra Tech, Inc.
  • Cuyahoga County Urban Tree Canopy Assessment – Daniel Meaney, GIX/IS Manager, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
  • Update on the NEORSD Project Clean Lake and the Stormwater Management Program – Frank Greenland, Director of Watershed Programs, NEORSD
  • Showcasing Balanced Growth related projects in each Partnership Community

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Friends of Big Creek
19th Annual Big Creek Clean Up

August 13, 2013
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo [Flyer]

BC cleanup


Cleveland Metroparks Brookstock
July 20, 2013


Pop UP Pearl 7/13


15th Annual Big Creek Watershed Clean Up
June 1, 2013

[Download flyer]
Four locations:
• Brookfield Park, Brookfield Ave. (Off W. 130th)
• Brooklyn City Fire Station (8400 Memphis – Brooklyn, OH)
• Snow Road Picnic Area along Big Creek Parkway
• Archmere Park, W. 41 Street & Archmere


Friends of the Crooked River and Cuyahoga RAP
RiverDay 2013

BIG CREEK: HISTORIC LOWER BIG CREEK VALLEY TOUR
May 18, 2013

More than 40 attendees discovered Big Creek’s history hidden under the Pearl Road (Brooklyn-Brighton) Bridge. We learned about two of Cleveland's earliest settlements and adjoining industry, viewed historic bridge remnants, architecture, historic maps, Greenway Plan for the valley. Sponsored by Friends of Big Creek and Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation. [Download Flyer]


Parma Safety Fair
April 27, 2013

Parma Justice Center, 5555 Powers Blvd.


Earthday activities - April 21, 2013 at:

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's
Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet

Earthday Coalition
EarthFest 2013

Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
EarthFest 2013


Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Partnership Meeting
October 24, 2012

Brooklyn Senior Community Center

Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Community representatives learned about Big Creek and other Balanced Growth Plans throughout the State of Ohio, and State Incentives being offered to the Balanced Growth communities, how we are currently implementing major aspects of the plan. Also discussed was ways to refine and better implement the plan as we strive to achieve more balanced growth within the Big Creek watershed communities.

Agenda:

Welcome: Honorable Richard H. Balbier, Mayor of the City of Brooklyn

Ohio Balanced Growth Program: Gail Hesse, Executive Director, Ohio Lake Erie Commission

Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Plan: Bob Gardin, Co-founder and Project Manager, Friends of Big Creek, George Remias, Project consultant, Tetra Tech, Inc.

Regional Stormwater Management Program: Frank Greenland, Director of Watershed Programs, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Refining and more effectively implementing the Big Creek Plan: Kirby Date, Program Manager, The Community Planning Program, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University


Public Meeting
Big Creek Water Quality Monitoring and Control: 1969 – Present
September 27, 2012
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Reinberger Education Center
DETAILS...


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Friends of Big Creek
18th Annual Big Creek Clean Up

August 14, 2012
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo [Flyer]

BC cleanup

Hosted by Resource Management Committee (The Zoo’s “Green Team”, Partners:  Zoo & Cleveland Metroparks Volunteers, Aramark Catering, Friends of Big Creek, local community members.


BrookstockBrookStock - A Celebration of Music & Nature
July 21, 2012
Metroparks Brookside Reservation
This year at the FOBC tent we featured crafts from recycled objects.

Eye of God craft at Brookstock 2012


Big Creek Watershed Clean Up June 2
Volunteers helped pick up stream side trash at Brookfield Park – Brookfield Ave., (between Bellaire and W. 130th) and Brooklyn City Fire Department (8400 Memphis Ave – Brooklyn, OH) [Download flyer]
Sun News covered the Brooklyn "Oxbow" Clean Up


Greater Cleveland Trails & Greenways Conference
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Civic Center, Independence
Details...


Tour under the Pearl Rd. bridgeHistoric Lower Big Creek Valley Tour
RiverDay 2012
Saturday, May 19
Big Creek in the valleyHikers learned about two of Cleveland's earliest settlements and adjoining industry along Big Creek, under the Pearl Road (Brooklyn-Brighton) Bridge, viewing historic bridge remnants, architecture, historic full-color maps. They also learned about the Greenway Plan for the valley. FOBC's "Pop under Pearl" during the 2nd annual Pop UP Pearl - Complete Street Fair. Sponsored by Friends of Big Creek and Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.
Pop UP Pearl May 19, 2012


Cuyahoga ReLeaf
Brooklyn Mayor BalbierOur first riparian reforestation
TREE PLANTING EVENT
April 28, 2012
at BROOKLYN MEMORIAL PARK, behind Brooklyn City Hall.

Cuyahoga ReLeaf®, the new initiative by the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization (CRCPO) aims to restore forest cover to areas throughout the watershed in order to shade streams, reduce erosion, capture and store surface runoff and increase habitat for aquatic wildlife.

Planting along Stickney CreekForest cover is the most extensive, efficient, and least expensive tool we have to manage stormwater, stabilize soils, provide habitat, clean the air and reduce nutrient runoff into streams. We know that streams protected and nurtured in wooded areas are the highest quality streams in the watershed. But we've lost, and are still losing, vast tracts of tree canopy to development and pests. Emerald Ash Borer is killing host trees by the hundreds, so we're helping nature out by planting young trees that will grow to replace lost ash trees, and shrubs and grasses to re-vegetate streamsides.

Over the past few months, with funding from OhioEPA and the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF,), CRCPO held mapping workshops for communities to identify target locations for restoration. Now, with help from Friends of Big Creek, the City of Brooklyn, ODNR's regional urban forester and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding from the U.S. Forest Service, we planted a healthy new riparian buffer on a stretch of Stickney Creek, a tributary to Big Creek.


prairie plantsPrairie Planting - Cleveland Metroparks Brookside Reservation
April 14, 2012
[flyer]

Volunteers joined the Cleveland Metroparks staff and Zoo Crew teen volunteers to plant native Ohio prairie plants and install a wood-chip trail at the site. This restored Ohio prairie habitat is also a Certified Monarch Way Station that provides important habitat for butterflies and other native wildlife.


Forest Forum for Big Creek communities
Download invitation [pdf]
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Administration Building Auditorium

Our urban forests are at risk. Yet healthy urban forests are the ultimate in green infrastructure – the most extensive and least expensive way to help attenuate stormwater runoff, increase property values and protect streams.

The Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP), with support from the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Big Creek and the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, is helping enhance forest cover in our communities.

Participants:

  • Received updated maps of their city’s forest cover and streams
  • Helped identify priority restoration sites to target funding for restoration
  • Learned about opportunities to attend Tree Commission Academy
  • Received an inventory of their city’s forest, tree protection, mitigation and restoration ordinances and policies; cities are eligible for ongoing assistance in updating and implementing them
  • Are eligible for funding and pilot restoration projects in your community

Cuyahoga ReLeaf Project


Rain barrel workshop at 3rd annual America Recycles Day
Cleveland Metropark Zoo
November 13, 2011
Sponsors: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Big Creek
For Information about the Zoo’s America Recycles Day:
Recap
www.clemetzoo.com/events/event.asp?event_id=132
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIRrcXcf


Special meeting of the Big Creek Partnership
November 2, 2011
Parma City Hall

We are pleased to announce that the Big Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Plan has received State Endorsement from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. [NEWS RELEASE]

In honor of this accomplishment, the Commission, Friends of Big Creek, and the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization held a special meeting of the Big Creek Partnership. John Watkins, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management, offered congratulations and presented certificates to the mayors of Brooklyn, Brook Park, Cleveland, Parma, and Parma Heights, recognizing the five Big Creek watershed cities of the Partnership as an Ohio Balanced Growth Community. OLEC Director Gail Hesse briefly discussed program incentives and future goals for the Ohio Balanced Growth Program.

Thanks to the City of Parma for hosting this special event and thanks to all who attended.

Balanced Growth certificates awarded
Back row L to R: Richard Balbier, Mayor of Brooklyn; Dean DePiero, Mayor of Parma
Front row L to R: Gail Hesse, OLEC Executive Director; Mark Elliott, Mayor of Brook Park; Michael Byrne, Mayor of Parma Heights; Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Cleveland representing Mayor Jackson; Bob Gardin, FOBC Project Manager; Sandra Kosek-Sills, OLEC Environmental Specialist/Balanced Growth Coordinator, John Watkins, Chief of ODNR Office of Coastal Management


Public Meeting and Presentation
September 27, 2011
Presentation and discussion about FOBC’s ongoing watershed restoration, conservation and trail initiatives.
Download event flyer


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Friends of Big Creek
Big Creek Clean Up
August 9, 2011

BC cleanup

47 volunteers helped clean up Big Creek in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Brookside Reservation and a tributary ravine across Wildlife Way. Friends of Big Creek, members of the community, and Zoo Crew Volunteers joined a team of Zoo staff in hauling metals, plastics, tires, and other assorted trash out of Big Creek. The Zoo’s Service Maintenance recycled a whopping 1,600 lbs. of scrap metal (which amounts to ca. $200 for the Zoo’s general recycling fund). Also recycled was one bag each of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass in addition to removing about 20 bags of trash. Thanks to ARAMARK for the complimentary pizzas and beverages for volunteers. And thankfully, volunteers completed the task in time to safely dodge a BIG hail storm that evening!


BrookStock - A Celebration of Music & Nature
July 23, 2011
Metroparks Brookside Reservation
Brookstock


13th Annual Big Creek Watershed Cleanup
June 4, 2011
Locations -
Cleveland: Brookfield Park, Brookfield Avenue (Between Bellaire & W. 130th)
Brooklyn: "Oxbow" area north of Brooklyn Fire Station, 8400 Memphis Avenue; Stickney Creek east of Ridge Road. Event flyer

"Brooklyn Big Creek Watershed Clean Up turns into fun for volunteers and boy scouts," June 11, 2011, by Mark Holan, Sun News.

Sponsored by: Friends of Big Creek; Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District; Cleveland Metroparks; City of Brooklyn; City of Cleveland; Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation, Longmead-McGowan Connection; West Park Community Council; City of Cleveland Departments of Public Works; Public Service; Public Utilities; Division of Water Pollution Control; Streets; Waste Collection and Disposal


At the Boy Scout camp RiverDay 2011
May 21, 2011
Big Creek: Tour the Brooklyn "Oxbow"
An enthusiastic group explored forest, shale slopes and wetlands where Big Creek meandered before I-71 was constructed. Brooklyn Mayor Richard Balbier welcomed the group, Tom Romito, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, and Brooklyn Boy Scout Troup 319, explorers and stewards of the area, led the way. Sponsored by Friends of Big Creek and the City of Brooklyn.
On the trail


Pop UP Pearl - Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
May 21, 2011
Pearl Road in downtown Old Brooklyn
Pop UP Pearl, a grassroots event during Cleveland Bike Week, featured a demonstration complete street, pop-up shops to activate vacant storefronts, public art features, live music and local vendors.


Low-Maintenance, Low-Impact Landscaping Trends
See Proceedings from this event...


Porcelain Berry Snap 2/13/11
Invasive Plant Removal Event
February 13, 2011
Nearly 50 volunteers met at the Brookside Valley Event Site in Brookside Reservation to "snap" some porcelain berry vines so that native plants can have a better chance to bloom come spring. The area is located along a butterfly monitoring path, and native plants help support our important pollinators. Afterwards, volunteers enjoyed cozy, complimentary HOT chocolate, HOT chili and HOT dogs compliments of FOBC!
Cleveland Metroparks in partnership with Friends of Big Creek. See photos on the Roar Report Metroparks Zoo blog.
[Download event flyer]


Rain barrel workshop at 2nd annual America Recycles Day
Cleveland Metropark Zoo
November 2010
Sponsors: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Big Creek
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIRrcXcf


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Friends of Big Creek
Big Creek Clean Up
August 24, 2010

BC cleanup

picking upFOBC and the Zoo’s Resource Management Committee send a BIG THANKS to the 45 volunteers who helped to clean up the Zoo’s watershed. Members of our local community, Friends of Big Creek, Zoo Volunteers, and Zoo Crew joined a team of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo staff in hauling metals, plastics, tires, and other assorted trash out of Big Creek. Service Maintenance recycled a whopping 1,660 lbs. of scrap metal, which totaled $132.75 for the General Recycling Fund. Special thanks to Donatos and ARAMARK and for the complimentary pizza and beverages for our volunteers. Among the “fun” finds were a vintage clock, a guard rail, a manhole cover and a naked Barbie doll! Many thanks to all for a job well done!


Nature Tours of Treadway Creek Trail
July 17, 2010
Harmody Park
FOBC led informative hikes on the trail with focus on the development/restoration efforts as related to the environmental aspects of the site.

Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration & Trail
With the Treadway Creek trail construction, a 2/3 mile all-purpose passage through the natural ravine, Old Brooklyn became the first neighborhood in Cleveland with a direct connection to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. In addition, 21 acres of prime riparian corridor, wooded ravine and open space were restored and preserved. Learn more at http://oldbrooklyn.com/Treadway/treadway.html

Held in conjunction with
All Access Home and Bicycle Tour


BrookStock - A Celebration of Music & Nature
July 17, 2010
Metroparks Brookside Reservation
Brookstock


Rain Barrel Workshop – Stearns Farm, Parma.
July 7, 2010

Rain Barrel Workshop – Brooklyn City Hall, Brooklyn.
June 30, 2010


Greater Cleveland Trails & Greenways Conference
June 7, 2010
Southwest General Health Center & Polaris Career Center, Middleburg Heights. See: GCtrails.org
Evening Public session at Polaris: Happy Trails & Healthy People Guided trail walks, free health screenings, live music. Celebrate American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® with us! See: www.gctrails.org/public.htm


12th Annual Big Creek Clean-up
June 5, 2010
2 locations: Brookfield Park - Brookfield Avenue in Cleveland and Cleveland Metroparks Snow Road Picnic Area - Parma Heights / Parma Download flyer


RiverDay – Big Creek: Where the Waters Meet
May 15, 2010
Big Creek at its confluence with the Cuyahoga. Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins, FOBC Project Manager Bob Gardin and Domokur Architects’ Mike Kannard explained studies and plans for all-purpose trails and other enhancements to the area.
Brian Cummins speaks at RiverDay


Big Creek – Chevy Branch Restoration Tour
May 12, 2010
A stop on the Northeast Ohio Watershed Council's 2010 Restoration Tours of natural and innovative projects designed to address flooding, erosion, and water quality problems. NEOwatersheds.org

Stormwater Problems Are Real...
... and so are the solutions

March 24, 2010
Presented by the Northeast Ohio Watershed Council

Flooding, erosion, and water quality problems are a reality for our communities.
Solving these problems can be difficult since stormwater runoff from one community drains into another; crossing political boundaries. A comprehensive “watershed approach” to stormwater is the best answer to these challenges; what is being done in Northeast Ohio. Download event flyer [pdf]


Putting the "U" in Urban Watershed Stewardship

Joint Public Meeting with Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
See Proceedings from this event.


Public Meeting: Taking High School Curriculum Outdoors 11/18 6:30pm
James Ford Rhodes High School:
"Studying Water Chemistry, Biological Diversity and Sources of Pollution Through
Field Work in the Big Creek Watershed."
Earth Science Teacher James Gazda and students

Valley Forge High School:
"Integrating Ecology, Chemistry, Biology, and Art Curricula with On-Site School Wetland."
Biology Teacher Jon Komar and students


URBAN WETLAND TOURS 2009
WetlandAs a follow-up to our September 2008 Urban Wetlands Symposium, FOBC scheduled tours of the five model projects highlighted in the symposium plus one potential restoration area and one high quality rural wetland.
Details...

  • August 27
    Nine Mile Creek Stormwater Retrofit Project
  • September 3
    Valley Forge High School Courtyard Wetland
  • September 10
    Brooklyn Oxbow Area - potential wetland restoration sites
  • September 14
    Tinkers Creek Headwaters - high quality wetland and vernal pools
  • September 22
    Cleveland Metroparks Vernal Pool Enhancement Project
    Brookside Reservation
  • September 28
    Puritas Wetland Project
  • October 5
    West Creek Reservation Created Wetland

Burning River Fest Burning River Fest 2009
August 15, 2009
Historic Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on Whiskey Island


Zoo Big Creek Clean Up
August 19, 2009

Friends of Big Creek joined with Metroparks and Aramark staff and volunteers, their friends & families, and community volunteers to help clean up Big Creek which runs directly through the Zoo and Brookside Reservation. See info from the 2008 cleanup below.


Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation and Walk+Roll
All-Access Home and Bicycle Tour
July 18, 2009

Cleveland Metroparks
Brookstock - A Celebration of Music & Nature
July 18, 2009


BIG CREEK RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP
June 11, 2009
Stearns Homestead Farm, Parma, Ohio
Our first rain barrel workshop sold out!

August 20, 2009
Brooklyn

Our rain barrel workshops were held in collaboration with the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District. Thanks to all participants and to Amy Roskilly, Conservation Education Coordinator, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District. To find out about future workshops, contact Amy at 216-524-6580, ext. 22.


11th Annual Big Creek Watershed Cleanup
June 6, 2008

Three locations: In addition to the Brookfield/Chevy Branch Bellaire-Puritas site, we targeted the Parma/Parma Heights stretch of the Big Creek Reservation from Brookpark Road to Stumph Road. From the Snow Road Picnic Area, participants worked north to Stumph Road and south to Brookpark Road. We also targeted areas along the main and west branches of Big Creek within the City of Brooklyn from a staging area in the Memphis Picnic Area.

 

River Day gathering

RiverDay 2009 - Big Creek: Where the Waters Meet
May 16, 2009

Attendees discovered the hidden beauty of Big Creek at its confluence with the Cuyahoga River. Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins, Ohio Canal
Corridor’s Tim Donovan, and Domokur Architects’ Mike Kannard discussed planning underway to enhance the area and connect it with all-purpose trails from the Towpath Trail to the Metroparks Zoo and beyond. FOBC's Jim Gazda demonstrated water quality testing procedures and explained creek monitoring projects in Rhodes High School environmental science instruction.


Puritas WetlandsPuritas Wetlands Planting
May 15, 2009

Volunteers helped enhance and preserve our unique urban wetland by planting native plant species.


Big Creek Watershed Management Plan Meeting
October 28, 2008

Parma Heights City Hall - Council Chambers

Agenda summary:
- Chevy Branch Restoration Case Study- by WPC and NEORSD
- Finalizing Preservation Sites
- Identifying Stormwater Retrofit Locations
  -- Dry Stormwater Basins
  -- Large Parking Lot Retrofits
  -- Highway Right-of-Ways
  -- Stormwater Storage below Outfalls, etc.


Urban Wetlands SymposiumSeptember 24, 2008
Urban Wetlands Symposium

Valuing, prioritizing and protecting wetlands.
Progress reports on current urban wetland projects in the Cleveland area.

Details...


September 13, 2008
Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
59th Annual Meeting and Conservation Day

Euclid Creek Reservation

Bob Gardin, Friends of Big Creek Chair, received the Conservationist of the Year Award; FOBC member Councilman Sean Brennan, Parma City Council was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation

Awards at Conservation Day Holding awards: at left, Bob Gardin;
at right, Sean Brennan

 

Big Creek Watershed Management Plan Meeting 4
August 26, 2008
Brook Park City Hall

The goal of this meeting was to summarize work to date. Also discussed were site specific areas (i.e. greenspace) in each community. Because how we strategize and manage these remnant greenspaces is a quality of life issue for each city, input is critical to ensure that these areas are understood, well managed and appreciated. Eventually, they will be prioritized for preservation, restoration and to leverage funding dollars. Details of the Chevy Branch Restoration Project Case Study were presented by Tom Marsalis, Cleveland Division of Water Pollution Control.


Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan
Public Meeting 2
August 27, 2008
Brooklyn City Hall


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Friends of Big Creek
Big Creek Clean Up
August 13, 2008
Metroparks Zoo

60 Metroparks staff, volunteers, members of Friends of Big Creek and employees of Alcoa and US Bank collected and recycled 2,100 lbs. (that's 1.05 tons) of rusty scrap metal, less than 100 bottles and cans, a small pile of scrap wood, a few rusty lawn mowers and about 8 bags of garbage! Also, a good dent was made in an invasive phragmities patch in Brookside Reservation by cutting off the seed heads in preparation for herbicide application.


FOBC tent at Brookstock - A Celebration of Music & Nature
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Brookside Valley Event Site


Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector Plan
Public Meeting
June 25, 2008
Brooklyn City Hall

The City of Brooklyn and project partners are seeking public input on the Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector Plan. The study will develop preferred alignments for a 3-mile all-purpose trail expansion through the city that will seek to connect the Metroparks Zoo and Brookside Reservation to the Big Creek Reservation south of Brookpark Road. It will examine connecting parks, neighborhoods, civic and commercial areas throughout the city while identifying opportunities for interpretive exhibits and ecological restoration.

The $75,000 study is being funded by a $60,000 Federal Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grant program administered through the Northeast Ohio Coordinating Agency with local matches from the cities of Brooklyn, Cleveland and Parma, Cleveland Metroparks, and Friends of Big Creek. For more information contact Donna Thompson, City of Brooklyn at 216-635-4224.


Big Creek Watershed Management Plan Meeting 3
June 24, 2008
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Agenda Summary
Analysis of:
- Demographics
- Impervious Coverage
- Land Cover & Land Use
- Critical Natural Features by Large Tracts
- Survey to Rank Restoration Options


10th Annual Big Creek Watershed Cleanup
Big/Stickney Creek
June 7, 2008

Three locations:
- Archmere Park, Archmere Ave., west of State Rd.
- Brookfield Park, Brookfield Ave., between Bellaire & W. 130th
- NEW location in Brooklyn: Brookridge Elementary School, 4500 Ridge Rd.


Big Creek Cleanup
May 28, 2008

Fern Hill Picnic Area (off Big Creek Parkway, just south of Brookpark Road)
Big Creek stewards included City of Parma Council member Mary Galinas, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Big Creek and members of the United Church of Christ


RiverDay 2008
May 17, 2008
Big Creek Event: Where the Waters Meet

Attendees discovered the hidden beauty of Big Creek at its confluence with the Cuyahoga River and learned about planning underway to enhance the area and connect it with all-purpose trails from the Towpath Trail to the Metroparks Zoo and beyond.


Watershed Management Plan Meeting 2
April 29, 2008
Parma Senior Center
Presentations: Dan Meaney, Cuyahoga Co. Planning Commission - Natural Resources of the Watershed; Chuck Hambly, project coordinator, from the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan - Big Creek characteristics and water quality; Lester Stumpe, NEORSD, - the RIDE (Regional Intercommunity Drainage Evaluation) Study. Representatives from the Big Creek watershed communities broke into work groups to begin identifying key preservation/restoration areas.
Meeting Dates & Work Program [pdf]
Big Creek Watershed Management Plan Fact Sheet for Communities [pdf]

Watershed Management Plan Meeting 1
February 26, 2008
Brooklyn Senior-Community Center

Big Creek Watershed Management Plan introductory meeting. Representatives from Big Creek watershed communities listen as Jim White from the Cuyahoga River RAP explains the important features of watersheds and the effects of urbanization. Participants will meet every other month through October of 2008.


Informal Opening of Treadway Creek Greenway
December 1, 2007

Harmody Park/Treadway Creek Greenway Entrance
1700 Mayview Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44109

The Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration Project restores and preserves 21 acres of riparian corridor and open space, two-thirds of a mile long, through conservation easements along Treadway Creek, a tributary to the Cuyahoga River and part of the Lower Big Creek Valley watershed. See photos at Flickr.


Public Meeting, Nov. 14, 2007
The Importance of Water Quality, Volunteer Monitoring Programs & the Monitoring of Big Creek.
A joint presentation:
Steve Tuckerman, Ohio EPA Northeast District Office: "Monitoring Big Creek and Ohio's Volunteer Monitoring Program"

Lindsey Barber, Kayla Giannetti, James Ford Rhodes High School: "Water Quality Variations of Stickney Creek," results of a student investigation of the water quality of Stickney Creek, a tributary of the Big Creek Watershed. Students measured the temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and pH at several randomly selected sites along the creek. The project was part of their Earth/Space science class with teacher James Gazda.


Public Meeting, Oct. 17, 2007
Presentation by Vern Hartenburg, Executive Director of Metroparks
The history of the Metroparks, its present and future in the community, and opportunities working with its partners on the Big Creek trail expansion studies.

Lower Big Creek Exploratory Hike, September 9, 2007

Metroparks/FOBC Zoo Clean-up, August 29, 2007

3rd Annual Summer Brooklyn Oxbow Hike, August 12, 2007

9th Annual Big Creek Clean-Up, June 9, 2007
This year volunteers "swept" through two areas: Chevy Branch at Brookfield Park; Stickney Creek at Archmere Park.

17th Annual RiverDay, May 19, 2007
"Where the Waters Meet" - Confluence of Big Creek and the Cuyahoga River
Again this year, participants toured the area of Big Creek at its confluence with the Cuyahoga and learned about planning underway to enhance the area and connect it with all-purpose trails from the Towpath Trail to the MetroParks Zoo and beyond.

Ohio Canal Corridor Annual RiverSweep Cleanup, May 12, 2007

Brookside Garlic Mustard Pull & Clean-up, May 2007

EarthFest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, April 22, 2007 - Earth Day

Joint Public Meeting with West Creek Preservation Committee, March 20, 2007

Presentations and discussion by and about both Watershed groups.


Second Annual Winter Hike: Brooklyn Oxbow, February 18, 2007


General Meeting, February 7, 2007
Lower Big Creek Update

City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, and Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation representatives reported on the status of the Lower Big Creek Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration project and the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant for the Lower Big Creek valley.


Elaine MarshGeneral Meeting, November 29, 2006
Presentation by Elaine Marsh, Project Director, Ohio Greenways

Open space projects are much more than aesthetically pleasing natural areas where people can relax and exercise. Strategically selected and properly designed, open space projects make up the green infrastructure of a community. Green infrastructure is an interconnected network of land and water that sustains air and water resources by maintaining and enhancing natural ecological processes. These processes reduce flooding and stormwater runoff, absorb air pollution, decrease erosion, and increased the capacity of streams to take up toxins and other waste products. Where public access has a role in the projects, green infrastructure increases a community’s safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and reduces the health risks of inactivity, a leading cause of premature death. Elaine Marsh's presentation highlighted green infrastructure benefits. It was packed with the latest research, illustrations, case studies and stunning dollar values.


August 19, 2006
Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Conservation Day and 57th Annual Meeting
Coe Lake Pavilion behind Berea City Hall

Friends of Big Creek information booth. FOBC Steering Committee members Kim Swaggard-Svec and James Gazda, teachers in 2005-2006 at James Ford Rhodes High School were awarded Educators of the Year Award and the Roger Biemel Memorial Award.
Jan Rybka presents Educator of the Year award to  Kim Swaggard-Svec and James Gazda Jan Rybka presents the Roger Biemel Memorial award to  Kim Swaggard-Svec and James Gazda
Jan Rybka, District Administrator, presents awards.


July 15, 2006
2nd Annual Summer Brooklyn Oxbow Hike
Leading the way at the Oxbow   Exploring plants in the Oxbow


May 31, 2006
Friends of Big Creek General Meeting
Brooklyn Senior/Community Center
FOBC presentation and discussion about related Big Creek Watershed and expanded greenway issues.


June 3, 2006
8th Annual Big Creek Clean Up - Chevy Branch
- pictures at Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Brookfield Park - Brookfield Avenue (east off West 130th)


May 20, 2006
16th Annual RiverDay 2006

"Where the Waters Meet" - Confluence of Big Creek and the Cuyahoga River
Tours started from Cudnik's Tavern parking, 3995 Jennings Road to explore the hidden beauty of Big Creek at its confluence with the Cuyahoga. Participants learned about planning underway to enhance the area and connect it with all-purpose trails from the Towpath Trail to the MetroParks Zoo and beyond.

Big Creek at left, Cuyahoga at right
Big Creek (left- looking upstream) at confluence with Cuyahoga River (right - looking downstream)
More RiverDay information at Friends of the Crooked River.


Pulling trash from Big CreekMay 6, 2006
17th Annual RiverSweep

Treadway Creek Ravine/Big Creek clean-up
FOBC members, Rhodes High students and others met at Zeleznik's Tavern on Jennings Road
FOBC's Greg Cznadel and Bob Gardin "sweep" Big Creek and remove rubbish.


Earth Day - April 23, 2006
FOBC / Cuyahoga River RAP at EarthFest

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo


At Big creek looking east with Ridge Road bridge in distanceWinter Valentine Hike - Brooklyn "Oxbow"
area

After the hike.On Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 30 hikers met at Brooklyn Memorial Park to discover the "Oxbow/Kingdom" greenspace area, part of the potential greenway connection between Brookside Park and the Big Creek Memphis Reservation. Hot cocoa, hot dogs and sweet treats at the pavilion followed the walk.


 


Cleveland Metroparks Winterrific

FOBC exhibit at the Brookside Reservation Event Site on the Jan. 21-22, 2006weekend.


Water Quality Investigative Survey
Brookside Reservation area - Jan. 15, 2006; followup - Jan. 30, 2006.
Steve Tuckerman, Ohio EPA Dennis Petro, FOBC, with Steve Tuckerman, Ohio EPA
samples microscopic view
After an initial survey of the area of concern by FOBC members, Bob Gardin, Jim Gazda and Dennis Petro were joined by Steve Tuckerman of the Ohio EPA for waterquality sampling and testing. The samples pictured show green algae, Chlamydamonas. The possibility of a CSO, combined sewer overflow, is under consideration.


FOBC General Meeting, November 16, 2005
Presentation on the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway and the Corridor Management Plan by Tim Donovan, Director of the Ohio Canal Corridor.


Hikers look at map of Treadway (under the Jennings FreewayHike-Treadway Creek
On Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, nearly twenty hikers explored Old Brooklyn neighborhood's newly funded trail alignment through the Treadway Ravine. Bob Gardin gave an introduction to the project. Further details of the plan were explained by Mike Kannard, Landscape Architect at Schmidt Copeland Parker Stevens. Mike and Terry Greathouse, Professor of Biology at Cuyahoga Community College shared their expertise on beneficial vegetation and invasive species.

On the path along the ravine

See the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation's information on the Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration Project.


 


FOBC General Meeting, September 21, 2005
The meeting featured a Lower Big Creek Study Update led by NOACA's John Beeker. Progress of the planning strategies outlined in the study were discussed, including the funded USEPA brownfield land use study and the Redevelopment and Restoration Plan assessing the feasibility of a direct connection between the Towpath Trail's Harvard Avenue trailhead and the Metropark Zoo through the Lower Big Creek Valley. Lower Big Creek Planning Initiatives Summer 2005 Update (2.321MB pdf-14 pages)


Site Survey - Cascade Crossing Area
On Wednesday, Aug. 24th and Friday, Aug. 26th Steering and Advisory Committee members (about 16 for both evenings) met at Cascade Crossing at I-480 and Tiedeman Road. Led by Bob Gardin the following sites were explored starting with Big Creek at Cascade Crossing: The I-480 entrance ramp, Big Creek as it flows past Hampton Hotel, a vacant lot (Forest City), the Railroad Bridge over Big Creek and the surrounding land, Big Creek next to Sam's Club, Big Creek to Brookpark Road and the end of the Big Creek Parkway. Detailed notes.


General Meeting, August 17, 2005
Paul Alsenas, Director of Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, gave a presentation on the Cuyahoga County Greenspace Plan and how it relates to the existing and potential Big Creek greenway. Visit the Cuyahoga County Greenprint plan page for more information. Download an audio version of this presentation: Pt. 1 (62MB) MP3 - Pt. 2 (45MB) MP3 . These are very large files and will take some time to download. Not recommeded for dial-up connections.


Successful hikes in Brooklyn

Cuyahoga County's Tim McCormack, City of Brooklyn public officials, and County and Cleveland Metroparks planners joined Friends of Big Creek on Sunday, July 10, 2005 for a hike to Big Creek north of the Memphis Road area in the City of Brooklyn.

More than 30 hikers examined the existing "Oxbow" greenspace area and viewed the potential greenway connection between Brookside Park and the Big Creek Memphis Reservation.

A repeat hike on Wednesday evening, August 10th, drew 26 hikers.

Newsletters: Big Creek Watershed News & Notes
Newsletters

BIG CREEK WATERSHED BALANCED GROWTH PLAN - 2010
Plan Cover
Download the Plan (24MB) - includes Wetland Report & Maps (Appendix B)
Download the Wetland Assessment & Prioritization Report Only (Appendix B)

Proceedings - Water Quality public meeting 9/27/12

Proceedings: Above Our Heads, Below Our Feet

Proceedings: Low-Impact, Low-Maintenance Landscaping Trends

Proceedings: Putting the "U" in Urban Watershed Stewardship 3/9/2010

Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan - 2009
Big Creek Greenway Trail Alignment and Neighborhood Connector Plan

Master Plan Report [17.4MB]
Development Guidelines
Proposed Routes [15.8MB]

Urbab Wetlands Symposium 9/24

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