Big Creek: An urban
tributary on the mend

The last tributary to connect with the Cuyahoga River before it winds its way to Lake Erie, Big Creek is an urban waterway that flows through Brooklyn, Parma, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights, and Strongsville. Big Creek has received plenty of attention recently because of its years of neglect as a dumping ground for Cleveland's manufacturers in the industrial Flats, and because it's in the city's combined sewer overflow (CSO) system which uses Big Creek among other urban streams as a catchment basin during big storms.

Despite its degradation, Big Creek offers plenty of natural beauty tucked away in its winding course through the Cleveland Metroparks' reservation, which runs parallel to Pearl Road from Valley Parkway to Brookpark Road.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the reservation is Lake Isaac. Classified as a "glacial pothole" created thousands of years ago, the lake is a waterfowl refuge, especially for migrant waterfowl. A hiking trail follows the northern side of the lake and passes through marshes, a floodplain, pine plantation, woodlands, and an orchard. The surrounding land is a wildlife sanctuary and home to foxes, mink, deer, opossum, and countless other animals. It is one of the most active wildlife corridors in Cuyahoga County.

Recently, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) received a grant from the Ohio Coastal Management Grant program to undertake an assessment of the land use, transportation and environmental problems in the Lower Big Creek area, to prioritize problems, and to formulate a strategy for addressing these problems.

An overall goal of the project is to plan for and implement long and short-term actions and policies to stabilize and improve physically and environmentally sensitive natural
areas in the study area with the intention of eventually connecting the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with the Canal Towpathwhich now features a trailhead at Harvard Rd.
just east of the study areaand which NOACA, Cuyahoga County and Cleveland are planning an extension to the mouth of the Cuyahoga.

The project has been coordinated with the City of Clevelands comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization planning in the Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods.


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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Lower Big Creek Valley Study by NOACA

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