Oak Road Retention Pond

Stormwater improvements can relieve many issues that result from flooding and overflowing waterways. The 'old' philosophy about stormwater used to be to remove it from the area as quickly as possible, but the outcome of that approach results in serious issues for properties downstream. The 'new' approach is about collecting water and controlling the flow, allowing it to gradually dissipate over time. The best way to contain stormwater and control its release is through a retention pond, or a body of water designed to hold a certain amount of water at all times.Fast Facts, Updated December 2023
  • A retention pond, which is designed to always hold water, will be constructed in the Oak Road Greenbelt, near the intersection of Oak Road and South Troy Avenue.
  • The swales and ponds will be in an area of about 3 acres, with design efforts made to reduce the overall footprint of the pond.
  • The pond will contain stormwater from the Greenbelt, southern areas of the Village east and west of the railroad tracks, and stormwater runoff from commercial developments in Woodlawn.
  • The Village will be responsible for the maintenance of the pond, including managing invasive species and wildlife.
  • About 15 trees will need to be removed. Most of these trees are dead or invasive. Signficant tree protection efforts will be made to protect old growth trees.

Frequently Asked Questions
What’s this project?
A retention pond is proposed to be installed near the corner of Oak Road and South Troy Avenue. The design for this pond came from planning discussions and meetings with the Village’s engineer and residents in the southeastern corner of the Village, but the original idea dates back to 1987. This pond is designed to retain a certain depth of water at all times – rain or shine. This pond will collect stormwater that enters the Greenbelt from rain and other precipitation, as well as runoff from the Goodwill and Woodlawn industrial properties south of the Village. By collecting and holding this water, it will flow more slowly and at lesser amounts over longer periods of time through the creek that travels north from the Greenbelt, crossing Albion, passing Warwick Place and Little Creek and heading under Sharon Avenue before entering the West Fork of the Mill Creek.

Why install a pond at all?
The pond will accomplish one very important task – it will slow down and control the flow of stormwater out of the Greenbelt and north into the creek.

Controlling this water will help prevent stormwater flooding on properties along the creek, but also improve operation of stormwater systems that empty into the creek. This allows the Village to construct new and improved stormwater infrastructure along Hedgerow & Albion Avenues, to improve the management of stormwater along those streets. Without it, the rebuilt system would quickly overwhelm the creek, causing even worse outcomes.

Will the pond collect pollutants or trash?
There is no expectation that the retention pond will collect additional pollutants or trash. The water that will fill the pond is the same water that currently runs through the Greenbelt after a rain event. The pond just controls the flow of that water to help prevent downstream flooding. Any pollutants or trash that may enter the system will most likely stop at the pond. Now, they continue through the creek and through residential properties. Retention ponds are shown to assist with controlling pollutants because they allow water to naturally absorb and evaporate.

What's the timeline for this project?
As of December, the Village has received bid results for the work, and the lowest and best bidder, Stauffer Site Services, is currently being considered by Council. If approved, the project will move quickly, with the goal of completion by Spring 2024.

Why a retention pond instead of underground detention or swales?

A retention pond is designed to hold water at all times. This provides a natural slowing of new water entering the pond, which comes from a number of areas, specifically a portion of the industrial properties in Woodlawn. The Village has installed swales and check dams, or areas intended to redirect water to slow its flowing over the ground, but they are overwhelmed by the amount of water in the area.

The Greenbelt is in Woodlawn. How does that impact this project?

The Greenbelt is located within the Village of Woodlawn’s jurisdictional boundary, but the property is owned by the Village, with no deed restrictions. Woodlawn has zoned the property “Open Space”, which only permits the installation of public and recreational improvements. Woodlawn will be provided the final drawings of the pond once they are prepared for their input. Woodlawn has not objected to previous stormwater projects in the Greenbelt.

Is the pond a retention or a detention pond?

The proposed pond is a retention pond. This means it will maintain a normal water level no matter the weather conditions. A detention pond is designed to drain completely.

How deep will the pond be? What safety measures are in place?

Current designs have the normal depth for the pond at about four feet. Per state guidelines, the Village’s engineer has designed safety features into the plans. These are standard safety features for a pond like this. The design accents the natural low areas of the property, rather than creating new low laying areas. Additionally, it will be set back at least 20’ from the roadway, which will give space for the construction of the trail in the future, as well as additional natural or physical barriers if needed.

Will it be open to fishing or other water recreation activities?

There are no current plans to permit or establish these activities.

Are there concerns about wildlife or insects causing issues around the pond?

There are measures that can be taken to address these issues when they arise, but the Greenbelt already serves as a natural barrier for the Village and the Village wishes to retain that benefit.

How many trees will be cut down?

Glendale has been recognized as a Tree City by the National Arbor Day Foundation for 27 consecutive years and is committed to minimizing the loss of old-growth healthy trees.  Still, a number of trees in the area of the pond will need to be removed to allow for its construction. Based on the new design, the Village anticipates about 15 trees will need to be removed. Once complete, the Village, through the Glendale Urban Forestry Board, will focus on native species replanting that will do well in the area and provide the natural, visual barrier that is customary for the Greenbelt.