Sharon Woods

Sharon Lake Improvement Project

About the Project

In 2017, Great Parks began a multi-year project to improve Sharon Lake. Severe sediment accumulation, harmful increases in nutrient values and aggressive aquatic vegetation is threatening the health of the 35-acre lake. The solution is to remove the excess sediment from the lake via dredging. Dredging Sharon Lake will not only let park guests continue to enjoy all recreation opportunities at Sharon Woods, but also will improve water quality and preserve local wildlife habitats.


Project Scope & Impact

From start to completion, the project will take two to three years. Areas in Sharon Woods that will be impacted during construction include:

  • Sharon Lake
  • Boathouse
  • Shared-Use Trail
  • Lakeside Lodge

The snack bar, harbor playground and water features will remain open during construction.

For more information about the decision and dredging processes, please read our 2018 assessment.

Check out the blog posts What’s With the Lake? and Maintaining Reservoirs for more about duckweed and dredging. Or, attend a public meeting to give your input.

Visit the Alerts & Closures page for park updates and closures throughout the project.


Tentative Project Timeline

ActivityEstimated Completion
Public MeetingsOngoing
Schematic DesignSummer 2020
Lake DrainedFall 2020
Construction DocumentsSpring 2021
Dredging Complete; Lake FilledFall 2022


Public Meetings

Public meetings are now over for 2019. Check back in spring 2020 for additional meeting dates.


Partners & Funders

Thanks to the approval of the 1-mill levy by Hamilton County residents in 2016, Great Parks is able to tackle this important project. Levy funds are also leveraged for supplementary support from federal, state and local grant funding sources.

A special thanks to the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Land & Water Conservation Fund and State of Ohio Capital Improvement Funding for their support of this project thus far.


FAQs

What is sediment?
A buildup of rocks and minerals that reduces water quality and aquatic wildlife habitats.

What is dredging?
The process of removing sediment and other materials built up in a body of water to improve water quality, wildlife habitats and recreation.

What is duckweed?
Duckweed blooms are made up of millions of individual plants. An aquatic plant that loves shallow areas of lakes, duckweed takes advantage of the nutrients the lake sediments give off.

Why is duckweed an issue?
Too much duckweed floating on Sharon Lake can prevent sunlight and oxygen from reaching the lake floor, causing harm to the aquatic habitat and fish.

Why has the duckweed increased?
The reservoir basin at the lake collects sediment and nutrients from the surrounding watershed. Sediment has accumulated at an unanticipated rate, creating more areas of the lake that are shallow. These shallow areas also provide a source of continuous nutrients that fuel duckweed growth. This abundance of nutrients and shallow spots are what duckweed thrives on.

Why don’t you get rid of it?
Even if Great Parks were to skim all of the duckweed off the top of Sharon Lake, it would regrow atop the lake because duckweed can double its biomass in as few as four days.

Why don’t you spray herbicides over the lake?
Sharon Woods Golf Course is irrigated with lake water. Herbicides would kill the turf on the golf course.

What does this project affect?
Dredging Sharon Lake will temporarily disturb lake ecosystems as sediment is removed, but it will also result in removal of pollutants, improved water quality, restored habitats and increased recreational opportunities for park guests.

How much does this project cost?
With design, permitting, surveys, pollution prevention, water management, construction, dredging, transport, restoration and reopening, this improvement project is anticipated to cost more than $4 million.

Where is the money coming from?
Great Parks is using funding from the 1-mill levy approved by Hamilton County residents in 2016 and is also proactively applying for grants and other sources.

What will the outcome be?
Once this project is complete, the lake will be able to return to a healthier state and will enhance overall park experiences at Sharon Woods for present and future generations.

Questions
If you have additional questions about the project that haven’t been answered here, please contact project manager and Chief of Planning Tim Zelek or Chief of Conservation and Parks, Bret Henninger via email or by phone at 513-521-7275. 

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