Archives for posts with tag: Glen Echo Park
Recs and Parks Plan for the Vernal Pool

Recs and Parks Plan for the Vernal Pool

Expect to see some small earth moving equipment and workers down in the park in the next week and a half to two weeks (early October) as Recreation and Parks digs between the third bridge and the bird mural (in the grassy area that is often mushy) for their Vernal Pool Restoration Project.

The Ohio Environmental Council website has a good bit of information about vernal pools. Here is some of what they have to say:

“Vernal pools are dynamic, seasonal wetlands that dot Ohio’s natural landscape. Vernal pools fill up annually but typically dry out during some part of the year. These small wetlands fill with spring rain and snow melt, blossom with life, and host a cacophony of sounds and a plethora of life forms every spring, only to disappear into the forest floor every autumn.

Vernal pools are vital to Ohio’s environment. They:

  • improve water quality;
  • serve as a bellwether wetland;
  • hold flood waters;
  • provide habitat to hundreds of species, including migratory birds; and
  • are an excellent educational tool.”

Once the site is prepared they will be doing native plantings and eventually the pool will be stocked with native frogs.

On a side note, anyone who is interested in identifying the Ohio species we have right here in our park or in learning more about the wildlife right in our backyards should check out the fantastic and free guidebooks by ODNR. We picked some up at the last Bioblitz and my kids love them, as do I. You can pick one up at the ODNR office (2045 Morse Road, Building G) or find them online here.

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Today (July 24) is the 102nd anniversary of Glen Echo Park’s dedication to the City of Columbus “for public park purposes forever.” And this Saturday, July 26, neighbors will come together to celebrate our park’s birthday with an old-fashioned neighborhood get-together and picnic in the park.

If you are free, please join us! Mid-day (12pm-?) July 26. Bring a picnic and enjoy lunch with your neighbors in one of our city’s hidden gems.

So, it rained today. For many of us living in Glen Echo we know this means that the storm sewers will overflow, our stream waters will rise, the park might flood, trash will wash down from I-71 and across from Linden and get stuck in the young willows that line the banks, and that it is probably a good idea to keep your children and dogs away from the water for a few days (or at least until the smell subsides). The ravine is usually pretty empty during a rain, and for good reason, but I’ve been wanting to get some pictures of the ravine during a rain event to post here because, quite frankly, it is shocking.

The video is a bit long, nearly 10 minutes, but it documents how Glen Echo Drive north of the Arcadia bridge turns into an intermittent stream during even just a moderate rain.

 

Neighborhood lore tells that until the late 70s you could drive a car down what is now the 4th Street service road through the park and up Glen Echo Drive to Hudson Street. When we moved to the neighborhood in late 2009, it was a heavy gravel road used only by city service vehicles. Today, remnants of a road remain but it is not currently drivable, even for a service vehicle. Yet it remains, technically, a city street. It is in limbo — not park, not street, not stream. You can walk it, but it is rough, rocky. The water has a done its work. To anyone traveling this “road” it is quickly obvious how the ravine was formed in the first place. It is actually quite beautiful. But the storm water flows too fast, carrying pollutants and sediment to the stream, and the wooded hillsides are quickly eroding. The little ravine not only channels water from Glen Echo Drive, but is also the receptacle for storm water coming off a large section of Arcadia Avenue, which dumps off the bridge with surprising force. The new downspout (added when the bridge was repaired in 2011) actually shoots turbid water from its clean-out pipe, and more water spits up from a half-buried manhole at the foot of the bridge.

The path through the park just before the Indianola bridge and the bird mural is continually washed out by the intermittent stream that flows down this forgotten portion of Glen Echo Drive. Efforts to pave it are undermined almost immediately. Before the city or community invests any more money in the path through Glen Echo Park, something must be done to resolve the underlying stormwater issues.