By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Visitors of Gantz Park in Grove City may have noticed crews cutting down trees. This is part of a city plan to restore Marsh Run.
Over the years, the stream has eroded. It has become polluted with runoff from the road and has been overrun with invasive plant and tree species.
“That is not good for the habitat or the ecosystem,” said Cindi Fitzpatrick, public service director for the city of Grove City.
According to Fitzpatrick, the creek is also encroaching on the retaining wall that helps to support Home Road.
The Marsh Run restoration project will return the stream to a more natural path, repair the eroded banks, and reestablish native plants and trees.
“This will be much better for the stream and the habitat,” said Fitzpatrick.
Kim Conrad, director of Grove City Parks and Recreation, said this is a project that needs to be done.
“I hate to see trees cut down as much as anyone but there will be replacement trees,” said Conrad. “It will be made whole.”
The total cost of the restoration project is $1.2 million. About $700,000 of the cost will come from a grant through the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. The remaining amount will come out of the city’s capital improvement budget.
According to Fitzpatrick, the work has been timed to minimize disruption to local wildlife and maximize the establishment of new trees and shrubs. In March, crews cut down trees. In April, workers will remove shrubs and underbrush. The repair and rerouting of the stream bed will take place from May through August. Then in November, trees and shrubs will be planted.
“Native species are planted in the fall for good root establishment,” said Fitzpatrick.
Park goers can expect work throughout the spring and summer.
According to Conrad, Gantz Park will remain open but a portion of the trail, near the stream, will be closed from either late April or early May to August.
“It will be an inconvenience, but it will look 10 times better when it’s done,” said Conrad.
City officials had planned the Marsh Run restoration project to coincide with road work to Home Road but only the stream project received funding. According to Fitzpatrick, construction on Home Road will begin later this year. The road project would widen the road, though it will remain a two-lane roadway. There will be a wider turn lane into Gantz Park, as well as intersection improvements at Home and Gantz roads. Street lighting and drainage work are also planned.
For more information on Marsh Run or local road projects, visit www.grovecityohio.gov.