Hill Ditch has headwaters in Sylvania Township and joins with the Ottawa River just west of the main campus of the University of Toledo. The section of Hill Ditch this project will restore runs south of Toledo Public School’s Natural Science Technology (NST) Center. It is directly upstream from the Toledo Botanical Gardens, where a stream restoration project was completed in 2013.
Hill Ditch is one of the Ottawa River’s longest tributaries, running through residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and the campuses of Toledo Public School’s Natural Science Technology Center and the Toledo Botanical Gardens. This project’s primary goal is to improve habitat for fish and benthos in Hill Ditch. Benthos are organisms that live in the sediment or near the bottom of a water body, making up the vital base of aquatic food systems. This restoration provides the following benefits:
• Fosters new instream and floodplain habitat for fish and benthos.
• Stabilizes streambanks against erosion, reducing suspended solids sediment pollution.
• Stabilize approximately 700 feet of eroding stream bank through regrading and by utilizing living shoreline design concepts.
• Enhance 650 feet of riparian (riverbank) buffer through native plantings.
• Restoring natural curves to the waterway while regrading streambanks to make them less steep. These earthworks decrease the negative effects of past stream channelization.
• Ditch restoration designs include rock riffle features, which will become homes for fish and benthos.
• Bank stabilization prevents loss of sediment due to erosion, maintaining the character of the habitat for years to come.
• Project Rack Card: Hill Ditch Restoration at Toledo NST Center
• Data Management and Delisting System Entry: Hill Ditch Restoration at Toledo NST Center
• Related Post-Project Fact Sheet: Crosby Lakes and Hill Ditch Restoration at the Toledo Botanical Gardens
• Related Data Management and Delisting System Entry: Crosby Lakes and Hill Ditch Restoration
This project is led by Toledo Public Schools. Toledo Public Schools received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. EPA.
All page photos: The Mannik & Smith Group
All page photos are pre-project site photos.