Pashek+MTR worked collaboratively with the Harborcreek Township Parks Commission, nearby neighbors and other residents of the Township to design a master plan that will protect natural resources while affording better access to a Lake Erie public beach and a trout stream.
Steelhead trout spawn in Twelve Mile Creek, a high-quality watershed, so stream protection is very important. The plan moved the existing parking lot further from water’s edge and proposed additional native plantings to create a larger riparian buffer. Green stormwater infrastructure such as rain gardens and infiltration swales were proposed to improve infiltration and prevent runoff into the valuable stream and Lake Erie. Planting areas are carefully sited in the middle of the parking lot and aligned with the entrance road to allow visitors to see landscaping but also enjoy unobstructed views of the lake. Pervious paving further protects the sensitive natural resources of the site.
Significant ice flows, sometimes as much as six feet tall, realign the contours of the beach and along the broad mouth of the stream each winter. Keeping this in mind, we had to be careful in locating the pedestrian bridge across the Creek and sidewalks along the lake to minimize damage. Sidewalks will have to be detailed to withstand seasonal erosion. Picnic shelters are also located outside of the historic high-water level of the lake.
Our firm also prepared a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for the first phase of construction for the park.