The busiest parking lot in Kamm's Corners—and home of the Kamm's Corners Farmers Market—just got a lot greener.
Thanks to Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) ongoing stormwater management efforts, what could have been a simple repaving project has instead transformed the city-owned lot at the corner of Rocky River Dr. and Lorain Ave. (aka Kamm's Corners) into Cleveland’s newest green infrastructure project.
“No one could remember the last time this lot was paved—it had to be at least 20 years, and it felt like we needed to do something,” says Ben Campbell, director of commercial & industrial development for Kamm's Corners Development Corporation. “After we identified the sewer district as a potential funder for repaving, the project ended up being a collaboration between us, NEORSD, councilman Martin Keane, and the City of Cleveland. It turned into what we feel is a win-win project.”
Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, Chief Executive Officer NEORSDThe newly resurfaced 125-space lot now features bio-retention cells that reduce stormwater runoff and help filter out harmful contaminants—like oil buildup, gas, litter, and other byproducts commonly found in parking lots. The project also added 16 new trees to the lot, including Bald Cypress, Sweetbay Magnolia, and Skyline Honeylocust.
According to NEORSD, the bio-retention cells (or stormwater basins) will capture nearly 700,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year. “The water from our parking lot goes into the sewer, which goes into a pipe underground that empties unfiltered into Rocky River, which of course floats into Lake Erie,” explains Campbell. “These [basins] can go a long way toward improving our overall water quality.”
The project was funded by a $249,583 Green Infrastructure Grant by NEORSD and completed in June. It's one of 38 similar projects that have been funded by the sewer district program in recent years. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on June 9 to fete the improvements in conjunction with the first Kamms Corners Farmers Market event of the season.
For his part, Bill Markowitz welcomes the changes as not only the manager of the Kamms Corners Farmers Market, but a resident of the neighborhood for almost 50 years. “A lot of people in our neighborhood are eco-conscious, and it’s nice to know these areas are being thoughtfully repaired," says Markowitz. "We're now able to reclaim this water and keep it out of our sewer system."