On August 9, 2013, the construction of the porous asphalt parking lot was complete at Grace Episcopal Church located at 819 Madison St. in Syracuse, New York. The new lot will mitigate the combined sewer overflows, reducing the runoff by 252,126 gallons per year based on the annual rainfall in Onondaga County. The rain garden along side of the church will be planted in the near future.
Beartrap Creek is a secondary tributary contributing to Onondaga Lake located in Onondaga County, New York. With the growth of the city of Syracuse, the urban development and non-point pollution has been degrading Beartrap Creek. In 2011, a project was designed by Izaak Walton League to address one of the long-term goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative- to provide a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife.
This project was separated into three subjects:
- Describe the fish community at select locations upstream, downstream, and at sites of restoration in Beartrap Creek before and after habitat enhancements are made, using Rapid Bioassesssment Protocols (RBPs)
- Apply an Index of Biological integrity (IBI) to determine spatial and temporal changes in fish species diversity, density, and size distribution
- Conduct a Visual Habitat Assessment (VHA) of sites before and after construction to determine temporal changes in riparian and in-stream habitat quality
The results of the installation of in-stream structures improved the habitat condition for locations in Beartrap Creek. Based on the IBI, fish community structure was shown to improve at and downstream of habitat enhancements approximately 8-11 months following installation. However for most of those locations improvements were minimal following initial installation, and for all of these sites, IBI scores remained the same or decreased in 2013. Fish richness and diversity was relatively consistent during sample years for each location, with only one location showing a consistent increase in diversity; a site that was upstream of habitat enhancements.
Conclusions were drawn from similar projects that habitat restoration efforts take longer than 2 years to observe the desired outcomes. These sites, as well as others further downstream will be monitored for the next few years with hopes that the restoration efforts have improved the ecosystem.
The green infrastructure construction is continuing at the Grace Episcopal Church located at 819 Madison St. in Syracuse NY. Today, August 5, 2013, the construction began on the rain garden portion of the project as pictured below. A grant from Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program is funding this construction to help mitigate stormwater runoff using green infrastructure. This program funds a variety of construction projects such as building green roofs, rain gardens, bioretention areas and porous pavement.
On August 1, 2013, the Save the Rain Green Improvement Fund (GIF) application for the Loew’s Building was submitted. This condominium building is located at 108 West Jefferson Street in downtown Syracuse, New York. The application proposes installing green infrastructure to manage the stormwater runoff by converting the current roof into an extensive green roof.
On July 29, 2013, the Save the Rain Green Improvement Fund (GIF) application for the Burnet Park Newstand was submitted. This business is located at located at 419 South Wilbur Avenue in Syracuse, New York. The application proposes installing green infrastructure to manage the stormwater runoff by converting the current parking lot into a porous asphalt lot.