The Crawford Park District has been awarded a Surface Water Improvement Fund grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $65,030 to implement a stormwater and nutrient reduction demonstration project at Lowe-Volk Park.
The stormwater management demonstration at Lowe-Volk Park will include: the installation of a rain garden; installation of two (2) rainwater harvesting and reuse systems; improvements to existing wetland and bioretention cells at the park entrance (including native wetland species planting); and the conversion of 5000 square feet of impervious pavement in the parking area into pervious pavement. Additionally, a passive vegetated treatment train will be installed next to the parking area to provide addition retention and treatment of parking area runoff.
By retaining excess stormwater and releasing it at a slower rate, incremental improvement to water quality in the Sandusky River and Lake Erie can be achieved. Park District Director, Bill Fisher says that, "This project will provide and promote unique-to-the-county examples of stormwater management aimed to educate homeowners and businesses with ways to reduce runoff quantity and improve water quality."
In addition, interpretive educational signage will be installed to provide information on these examples to park visitors. The goal is to introduce these ideals so that they can be understood better and, likewise more readily adopted by citizens and businesses on their own properties. The project provides an opportunity for property owners to see how they can construct runoff management practices that not only will improve wildlife and aquatic resources, but also improve the aesthetics of their property and landscaping at the same time.
Partners in the project include Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District, Oberlander’s Tree and Landscape LTD, and private citizens who care deeply about the environment and in Crawford County’s role in making a difference to improve it. Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairment in Ohio. It is caused by rain or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, picking up natural and human-made pollutants and depositing them in lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Other forms of nonpoint source pollution include modifications to natural stream flow, habitat alteration and nutrients. Polluted runoff can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.