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Lyndhurst - Lower Hawken Reforestation Project

The Euclid Creek Tree Planting at Lower Hawken School project enhanced a de-forested hillslope upstream of a detention basin designed to catch runoff from the school property that drains to a tributary of Euclid Creek. A small area of turf was converted to forest and a patch of phragmites was removed and enhanced with water loving trees and shrubs to try and out compete the invasive species.

On March 25th Cuyahoga SWCD staff and Lower Hawken 8th graders walked the planting site with school grounds keepers to determine the final planting areas. A presentation was given to the students about proper tree planting, and phragmites management. Students helped flag the planting areas.

On April 17th Cuyahoga SWCD staff and two tree steward volunteers helped to cut cages, unload trees and shrubs, and prepare the site for planting.

On April 18th, 22 8th graders helped plant 75 trees and shrubs and helped remove a stand of phragmites. In addition, 3 adult volunteers and 3 Cuyahoga SWCD staff helped. 48 4th graders came out to learn about the project and Euclid Creek and helped to cut back and bag phragmites.

Plant species were chosen based on their soil moisture preference. Species used included: American sycamore, Swamp White Oak, Bur Oak, Silver Maple, Bigtooth Aspen, Gray Birch, Yellow Birch, Elderberry, Red Elderberry, and Witch hazel. Cuyahoga SWCD is working with the city to add 12 yards of mulch to the turf area that was planted.

Enhancing the hillslope and wetland areas in this space will help reduce erosion and resulting sedimentation to Euclid Creek. This project served as an opportunity to educate both students and school staff about proper greenspace management and care for the plants going forward. As part of the project, two educational presentations were given to students.

Partners on the project were the Friends of Euclid Creek (FOEC), Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District (Cuyahoga SWCD), Lower Hawken School, WRLC Tree Stewards, and the City of Lyndhurst, a member of the Euclid Creek Watershed Council.