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Franklin County Hellbranch Meadows Stream & Wetland Restoration

FRANKLIN SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Hellbranch Meadows Stream and Wetland Restoration Project

Franklin County, Ohio
Funded by the Ohio EPA Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program
Egrets are a common site at one of the larger restored wetlands
Post-construction view of a restored riffle in Hellbranch Run
Before construction (left) and after (right)

Hellbranch Meadows is an approximately 200-acre site located in Prairie Township, southwest of Columbus, Ohio. Coldwater was retained by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District (FSWCD) to develop restoration plans including stream and wetland restoration, prairie and forest restoration, and invasive species control. Coldwater assisted FSWCD to obtain Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) funding for $3.8 million for restoration of the property.

Restoration design included stream restoration along Hellbranch Run and an un-named tributary using natural channel design techniques, wetland restoration and enhancement, upland riparian and prairie establishment, and removal of invasive species. Over 1,800 linear feet of Hellbranch Run were relocated outside of an existing AEP easement, restored to a natural channel, and re-connected to over 7 acres of active floodplain. Eighteen separate wetlands totaling over 8 acres in size were restored on the property for improved sediment filtering and nutrient assimilation.

The project also included an extensive native planting plan, which consisted of over 7,500 live stakes, 90 acres of native seed, and over 2,500 trees and shrubs. Coldwater assisted FSWCD with all Federal, State, and local permits which included a Nationwide Permit 27 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an NPDES General Permit for construction stormwater discharges in the Big Darby Creek Watershed from Ohio EPA, a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Permit from Franklin County, and a Land Disturbance Permit and Conditional Use Permit from Prairie Township.

Coldwater provided construction management services, overseeing the project construction through record rainfalls in 2018-2019, with only minor impacts to project schedule and within the allocated grant budget.

PROJECT ELEMENTS:

Stream Restoration
Natural Channel Design
In-Stream Grade Control
Wetland Restoration
Prairie Restoration
Re-forestation
Hydrologic & Hydraulic Modeling

Native Planting Plans
Invasive Species Control
Grant Writing
Planning
Biological Assessments
Environmental Permitting
Public Outreach
Construction Management