Doan Brook Watershed Partnership

2600 South Park Blvd
OH 44120

Doan Brook Watershed Partnership

Water FeatureNatural Corridor/Greenway


Average: 5 (1 vote)

The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (DBWP) commits to protect and restore the Doan Brook Waterhsed and the globally unique and valuable Lake Erie and Great Lakes Watersheds, The Doan Brook Watershed supports our local, communal health as well as the entire Great Lakes system.
As the region works to preserve the bio-diverse, fresh-water resources of Lake Erie as an underpinning of regional revitalization; the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership will focus on restoring ecosystem services within the Doan Brook Watershed to further local sustainability goals. Specifically, the DBWP encourages watershed activities, which will celebrate and quantify the Brook’s critical role in culture, economics and individual well-being. It is hoped that DBWP activities will imbue people with a sense of place; connect them to our local hydrology, and inspire them towards stewardship of abundant, clean water.

The DBWP was formed in March, 2002 and granted 501c3 non-profit status in April,
2003 to coordinate and advocate for the protection and restoration of Doan Brook, its riparian parklands and surrounding watershed. In addition to the three Doan Brook Watershed cities, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Shaker Heights, the organization’s leadership consisted of representatives from community organizations and the general public.

The DBWP has built and benefited from an extensive network of community alliances. Our extended network includes, the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, scores of local grade and high schools, the Holden Parks Trust, Earth Day Coalition, Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, Cultural Gardens Federation, Dike 14 Committee, Glennville Development Corporation, Famicos, St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, Parkworks, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, the County Board of Health, EcoCity Cleveland, Environmental Health Watch, the Holden Arboretum, Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, the North Union Farmer’s Market, Ohio Prairie Nursery, Busy Bee Tree Company, and countless local businesses and citizen volunteers.

It is important to underscore the invaluable contribution that citizen volunteers have made to the protection of the Doan Brook Watershed. The collection of individuals who have stepped forward to dedicate time, expertise and financial support is undoubtedly the backbone of the DBWP. A great diversity of people, representing both extremes of the socio-economic spectrum, the age spectrum and the expertise spectrum have restored vegetation, bagged trash, collected data, advocated, educated, painted, written, performed, hiked, biked, marched etc., to progress the Doan Brook towards health.

The Doan Brook is a 9.4-mile long urban stream. Although it collects water from only 19.5 square miles, it is home to over 150,000 people and many of Cleveland’s cultural institutions. Parts of six Cleveland neighborhoods, St. Clair-Superior, Glenville, Hough, Fairfax, Little Italy and University Circle, along with the cities of Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and the Village of Bratenahl comprise the Doan Brook watershed. The wide range of both social and natural environments within the highly urbanized Doan Brook watershed poses challenges and offers opportunities for recreation, collaborative citizen involvement, institutional support, water quality and habitat improvement, and interaction among diverse socioeconomic groups.

Analyzing water quality data from NEORD’s 2001 Doan Brook Study, Ohio EPA and many other sources, the following conclusions have been drawn:
• Water in the Doan Brook has consistently elevated levels of nutrients (phosphorous, ammonia, and other forms of nitrogen) chlorides, iron and bacteria. Concentrations of copper, chromium, zinc and lead are also elevated at times.
• The Brook’s water violates Ohio EPA water quality criteria for bacteria in all samples taken during wet weather and in many dry weather samples, as well. Criteria for a number of metals (copper, zinc, and sometimes lead) are also consistently violated during wet weather.
• The channelization of Doan Brook has increased flow velocity, reduced aquatic habitat, increased bank erosion, and degraded water quality. Because of wet-weather high-flow velocities, water is a significant stressor on stream aquatic biota, flushing macro-invertebrate life out of culverts and channels before it gets a chance to take hold.
• Impervious cover accounts for 21% of the watershed, thus urban non-point pollution is a ubiquitous issue.
• Because urban stormwater quality is expected to be the dominant source of pollution despite sewer infrastructure improvements, comprehensive urban storm water solutions will be needed to effect long term water quality changes.

1) Doan Brook Watershed Implementation Project: OEPA 319 Grant No. 01(h) EPA-34, Aug. 1, 2002 to July 14, 2006. Prior to receiving non-profit status, the DBWP was asked by the City of Shaker Heights to administer a 319 grant, which had been awarded to the City and the NCSL jointly. The opportunity allowed the DBWP to commence immediately with their primary objectives, restoration and education—though it did delay the Appendix 8 WAP process. The project goal was to improve water quality in the Doan Brook watershed by reducing non-point source pollution through implementation of a multifaceted program of best management practices and education. To reduce non-point source pollution at the source through pollution prevention education, volunteer participation and implementation of stream restoration. Former DBWP Director, Keith Jones authored a close-out report with the following accomplishment highlights:
a) Over four thousand students participated in a three-day Doan Brook Watershed Course, held at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. NCSL contributed to the project success with high-caliber staff.
b) Thousands of storm drains stenciled.
c) A volunteer macro-invertebrate stream monitoring program, active for three years.
d) Several thousand residents partook in innovative education programs, including rain barrel workshops, creating ecologically-sound lawn and landscapes (Laudable Lawns and Home Habitats Program), hikes through the Parklands, numerous community festivals, and educational displays, such as the interactive computer exhibit featuring maps, history, interviews and animated information.
e) Water quality monitoring conducted by John Carroll University, resulting in the detection of pollution leaks into the sanitary sewers.
f) A Lakes Management Plan for Green and Marshall Lakes.
g) 70' of eroded streambank revegetated/stabilized at Southerly Park
h) 500' of degraded stream channel at Shaker Heights Country Club and 400' at the Shaker Schools Campus were bio-engineered to regain natural stream functions, including a stable stage-two channel with riffle/run sequences, meanders and floodplain access.
2) Lake Erie Protection Fund. The Shaker School site success was due to an additional grant from the Lake Erie Protection Fund. The stream was denuded of a riparian corridor, entrenched and channelized up-stream from the South Woodland Rd. bridge. The absence of a stage-two stream channel created stagnation that exacerbated eutrophication. The project stabilized stream-banks with native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, removed concrete walls to allow the brook to access to its floodplain, replaced an older bridge with an ADA compliant pedestrian bridge, and engaged hundreds of parents, students, teachers and local non-profits to plant natives. To publicize the project former Director, Keith Jones, engaged two local reporters to capture the restoration story.
3) Green Lake De-silting Catch Basin: In the fall of 2006, the City of Shaker Heights Public Works Department dredged the Green Lake catch basin. The DBWP negotiated a solution for dredge spoils with the Shaker Country Club. The club received the dredge material, reducing the cost to the city. Oxygen levels in Green Lake have improved slightly since the de-silting.


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