Cooley Brook Watershed Improvements Project
Residents rely on Bliss and Laurel Parks—and Cooley Brook—as an important aesthetic and recreational resource. Additionally, the Town of Longmeadow relies on Cooley Brook as a key stormwater management asset. Over the past several years, the Town of Longmeadow, along with partners such as Longmeadow Friends of the Parks and the Connecticut River Conservancy, have commissioned several studies related to the Parks and/or Cooley Brook in order to understand their functionality. Together, these existing conditions analyses make up the Cooley Brook Watershed Improvements Project Phase 1. For more information on Phase 1, please follow the link to the Phase 1 subpage to the left. The reports are also available in the Supporting Documents section of that page.
The Phase 1 studies have shown that Cooley Brook experiences:
- moderate to extreme levels of channel and streambank erosion;
- sediment deposition resulting in poor water quality;
- a significant reduction of habitat value for both aquatic and amphibious species;
- heightened hazards for road-stream crossings (Longmeadow Street culvert and Laurel Street culvert); and
- a reduction of the aesthetic and recreational value of the parks.
Stormwater runoff from the surrounding drainage areas is piped to Cooley Brook via a grouping of storm sewer outfalls, the majority being located at the headwaters of the brook in Bliss Park and several more being located throughout the streambed. Past development of the surrounding neighborhoods, along with changes to precipitation rates and frequency due to climate change, have impacted the stream’s natural channel features and contribute to localized stormwater flooding within the drainage-area.
Near the stormwater culvert outfalls in Bliss Park, the banks of the stream channel have become severely eroded. Downstream, Laurel Pond is filling with sediment. These worsening conditions significantly impact the stream’s ability to function as an ecological and infrastructural resource, affecting not only the reliability of town transportation and stormwater management infrastructure but also impacting biodiversity and reducing the availability of suburban habitat.
Join us as we develop a shared vision for improvements to the 410-acre Cooley Brook watershed. Your input is key for the Town to identify resident priorities and develop conceptual design plans for enhancing stream stability, habitat value, and recreational opportunities at Bliss and Laurel Parks.