Land restoration work shifts to Aurora branch of Chagrin River

by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER Published:

Aurora -- Restoration work along the Aurora branch of the Chagrin River is planned to get under way this summer, according to Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

She said bids for restoration of the river around the site of the former Aurora Golf Club property were due April 18.

"That work is expected to begin this summer," she said.

Meanwhile, the city last year coordinated efforts that restored more than 3,000 feet of two streams and more than four acres of wetlands at the Ray Harmon property on Bartlett Road.

The mayor said two watersheds -- Chagrin and Cuyahoga rivers -- converge at the Ray Harmon and Margaret Harmon properties, "so the work was important for waterways around the area."

Also at the Ray Harmon property, the wetlands were set off and protected by buffers and plant restoration, she said.

Womer Benjamin said the city has a lease for farming the Ray Harmon property, which is expected to begin this year, and it is working on a lease for haymaking on the property. The agreements are being drafted to ensure protection of the restored areas and the wetlands, she said.

At the Margaret Harmon property, the city is investigating potential uses for the house and surrounding structures, according to the mayor.

She said the Aurora R/C Flying Aces and Mantua Township Missile Agency are still using the fields at the Ray Harmon farm for their activities.

The city of Aurora took over the golf course land on Dec. 24, 2012, when the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced it would award $4.7 million to restore and protect more than a mile of the Aurora branch of the Chagrin River.

The funding comes from the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program and was used to acquire 186 acres of the former golf course.

The golf course ended its operations in 2013 and has become a scenic park, with some cart paths being turned into hike and bike trails.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

Facebook: facebook.com/mike.lesko.378

Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC

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