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Each time you venture deep into the cemetery, you will indeed find something that piques your interest. One of Lake View’s newest wonders has unfolded in a lush corner of the cemetery near the likes of Al Lerner, Louis Stokes, and Arnold Pinkney: the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s bioswales.
These bioswales are beautiful gardens of native flowers and vegetation, attracting bees and butterflies aplenty, but they also serve a very practical purpose–stormwater management. Lake View Cemetery received a Green Infrastructure Grant of more than $180,000 from Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) to build this bio-infiltration zone. In addition to support from NEORSD, Lake View received supplemental funding from The Tecovas Foundation and The Payne Fund to facilitate this work. The gardens and permeable pavers mitigate stormwater from this area that is channeled down a series of ravines and eventually released into the Forest Hill Avenue area. By capturing the stormwater here in Section 66, before it reaches the ravine, the excess water is prevented from moving into and overburdening the sewer system in the neighborhoods directly north of the cemetery.
Careful consideration is given to what soil and plants are used in these bioswales. They also act as cleaning zones, keeping garbage and debris from entering the city’s water supply. Some of the plants seen in the bioswales include Crimson Frost birch trees, butterfly milkweed, and purple coneflower, promoting a healthy native ecosystem that filters debris out of and is watered by the runoff collected in the bioswales. Beneath the surface, layers of stone, soil, sand, and fabric slow the travel of the water from the surface to sewers and waterways. Around the area, the asphalt road surface was removed and replaced with a porous surface to facilitate the absorption of stormwater into the surrounding ground. Lake View wants to thank NEORSD for the opportunity to implement these innovative strategies that work in concert to alleviate strain on local sewers, curtail the number of pollutants that reach Lake Erie, and enhance our commitment to native plants.
The bioswales are not the first time Lake View Cemetery and NEORSD have partnered to protect the environment. Visitors to the Haserot family monument, the Angel of Death Victorious, need only walk a bit farther to see another monumental project, the NEORSD Flood Control Dam. Built in 1977, the dam was the largest concrete-filled dam east of the Rocky Mountains, standing 114 feet tall and 520 feet long. Managed by NEORSD, the dam is large enough to hold 80 million gallons of stormwater from the city’s eastern suburbs and was built to stop flooding in the cemetery and surrounding University Circle area. Lake View is honored to work with Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District as stewards of our environment.
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