Zoo entrance to connect to the Allegheny once again with the addition of a new soccer field and stormwater mitigation park
Construction is currently underway to rebuild Heth’s Run Bridge near the zoo, part of new plans in the works for Heth’s Run Ecological and Recreational Restoration Project. The city hopes to break ground on a proposal to redevelop some of the zoo’s current parking lot space to build a new soccer field, integrate new trails with access to the river, and incorporate storm water mitigation throughout Heth’s Run to better manage the stormwater runoff in this area.
Although the stormwater management plans have not been finalized, the proposal for this area aims to concentrate the flow of runoff into a small conveyance stream. The stream will then run along the length of the parking lot, to the soccer field where the water will then empty into several bio retention ponds.
Bio retention ponds are small pools that capture and store stormwater runoff and allow for the water to have the time to permeate the soil and gradually evaporate. The bio retention ponds are also lined with various plants that have the ability to filter and purify the stormwater runoff as it flows from pond to pond. By acting as a constructed wetland, the bio retention ponds treat the stormwater before it empties into the river. In fact, before the construction of the zoo’s parking lots, Heth’s Run was an actual stream that flowed into the river. The new stormwater management plans for Heth’s Run have the potential to resurface this stream in a sustainable and contained manner that will provide for a beautiful new park that doubles as a runoff filtration network.