B&N provided engineering services to the Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District over a four-year period for three separate projects designed to improve area water quality, restore natural wildlife habitat, and educate the visiting public.
As civil engineer for these projects, B&N was responsible for restoration of approximately 800 acres of agricultural land to wetland, prairie, forested, and upland habitats as well as development of the site surrounding the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center. This included the restoration of a 500-acre site to wet prairie, restoration of approximately 215 acres of combination forest and prairie wetlands along with the associated upland habitats, and the site development for the new Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center. In addition to providing habitat for a wide range of wildlife these restoration efforts enhance groundwater recharge and provide valuable improvements to the stormwater quality entering the Big Darby Creek.
The goal of the 500-acre Kuhlwein South Wet Prairie project was to restore native plant species, such as several species of prairie grasses and wildflowers, and to provide a habitat for migratory birds and other animals. B&N engineers and environmental scientists designed removal of the agricultural drainage tile network, as well as the design of nearly two miles of earthen berms to protect neighboring properties, outlet structures with associated discharge piping, and emergency overflow spillways.
The constructed project allows water to pool, creating shallow wetlands and saturated soil conditions over large portions of the site, as well as smaller vernal pools. Additional project work by the B&N team included hydraulic analysis, confirmation of site soil conditions, development of the construction stormwater pollution prevention plan, and development of a master plan for proposed site facilities, including parking lots, observations decks, and trails.
The 215-acres of forested wetlands and associated upland wildlife habitats located at Darby Dan Farms were created in fields historically utilized for agricultural purposes along the banks of the Big Darby Creek. The design included construction of earthen berms and vernal pools, select plantings, and removal of the extensive subsurface drainage network. B&N was responsible for the site hydraulic analysis, wetland spillway design, preparation of design drawings and specifications, and development of the construction stormwater pollution prevention plan.
The Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center included design of the 0.5-mile-long entrance roadway, site grading for the parking facilities, and site trails/walks. The project also included stormwater management features that use pervious pavement, bioswales, constructed wetlands, and grass filter strips for control of stormwater quantity, quality, and groundwater recharge in accordance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and County requirements for the Big Darby Watershed, a National and State Wild and Scenic River. These passive stormwater management facilities provide valuable control of the stormwater quantity and quality.