The Beaver Creek Restoration Project at the Mercer County Elks Golf Course will help filter nutrients out of water before it reaches Grand Lake St. Marys. The Lake Improvement Association contributed funds to the project, which will be used for construction and landscaping. Image below.

From Ag Solutions Coordinator Theresa Dirksen:

This project is titled “West Branch Beaver Creek Stream Restoration” at the Mercer County Elks Golf Course. As it stands today, the West Branch of Beaver Creek through the Elks golf course contains severe channel incision, poor substrate quality, stagnant glide-like low flow characteristics, poor floodplain, and poor buffer diversity and density. This project will restore the creek to a functional stream with an accessible floodplain and will provide an ecosystem that will meet a use designation of warmwater habitat water quality criteria. The goal is to establish a QHEI score of 50 immediately after construction and a QHEI score of 60 once vegetation has matured. The current QHEI score is 33.5. This project will also slow water flow through this section of creek, which will ultimately impact downstream flow as it heads towards Grand Lake St. Marys. The floodplain bench allows for additional water filtration, particularly during medium and high flow events.

All trees, shrubs and grass seed to be planted on-site will be native to Ohio. Specific habitat features are being included in the overall design. Natural channel design is being used. Overall, the floodplain area will be an average of 120-feet wide, as opposed to the current width of approximately 40 feet. Approximately 5 acres will be donated by the Mercer County Elks into a conservation easement to be held by the Mercer Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) once the project is completed.

Mercer County received an Ohio EPA 319 grant to be used towards the construction of this project. Mercer County is donating a large amount of in-kind match through the design, permitting and construction oversight on the project. Mercer SWCD is also donating in-kind services towards this project. The Lake Restoration Commission has committed to funding signage around the restoration area and for outreach efforts. The Mercer County Elks will also be repairing items at their own expense as a result of this project, all as in-kind donations. The landfill and Republic Waste Services will be using excess soil from the site at their facility, another in-kind donation. I am also working on an additional source of funding for trees, shrubs and grasses.

This project has been publicly bid by the Mercer County Commissioners and contracts have been developed. The US Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide 27 permit for this project has been obtained.

The drawing depicts the trees, shrubs and grasses and what the floodplain area and stream alignment will look like.