The RainScapes Program’s success is based on partnerships with community members and groups who have put in RainScapes at their homes, public landscaped areas, and schools. DEP encourages you to contact us about partnering to install RainScapes in your community—helping us manage stormwater at both small and large scales.
Friends of Sligo Creek and Audubon Naturalist Society jointly created a lessons learned report of Rainscapes installations done in the community. This is useful for future implementation considerations.
Below we list examples of successful community projects to install RainScapes. Subscribe to the RainScapes Gazette to stay abreast of new community projects and find out more about local watershed groups.
Forest Park Rain Garden
Friends of Sligo Creek joined forces with the City of Takoma Park to implement and showcase Low Impact Development (LID) practices (such as RainScapes) on city-owned property. The first project was in November 2005, where a rain garden was installed at Forest Park, located at the corner of Prince George Ave and Elm Ave. The lower end of the park was experiencing serious problems with erosion due to excessive stormwater runoff from impervious play surfaces in the park. The new rain gardens are designed to improve or even eliminate the erosion problems at the park while protecting our streams.
American Elm Park
Friends of Sligo Creek, along with the neighborhood Civic Associations, agreed to co-sponsor a project at the park in 2003. The project consisted of the installation of a rain garden on the upper portion of the park. DEP helped with know-how and plant material, and three members of the department came to help on the day the garden was built. Funding was provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Dozens of members of the community also came out to help build the rain garden. The rain garden provides stormwater benefits to that part of the Sligo Creek watershed and serves to educate homeowners about stormwater runoff. The site serves as a pilot demonstration project and is monitored by the community.
Eastern Middle School
Dedicated members of the Friends of Sligo Creek and the Neighbors of Northwest Branch are working together to help their watersheds by implementing Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping on local properties such as schoolyards (including the Rainscaping at Eastern Middle School)and church grounds. The methods used include a wide array of innovative methods to retain, detain, filter, and recharge near the stormwater source. The process interested the students at Eastern Middle School so much that they decided to form a new RainScapes Club.
Fletcher's Service Center
The RainScapes team and Fletcher's Service Center worked during the spring of 2005 to plan and plant a rain garden to treat and manage stormwater on what had been a relatively unused piece of land adjacent to a convenience store for customers at the service station and car wash. Bobby Fletcher, owner of the service station, was interested in providing a comfortable picnic area for customers. The rain garden provides a pleasant setting with landscaping and plants. Mr. Fletcher's ongoing commitment to water quality and environmental protection was apparent throughout the process.
White Oak Library
Two tree box filters were installed at the White Oak Library to capture approximately one acre of the main parking lot area. The boxes work by filtering the first flush off the parking lot through a well drained soil. Once the filters reach full capacity during large storms the water utilizes the conventional inlet located adjacent to the boxes. According to University of Virginia research, the tree boxes should remove approximately 85% total suspended solids (TSS), 74% total phosphorous, 69% total nitrogen, and 82% metals (copper). The tree box supplier provides a two-year warranty and maintenance program for each box. The manufacturer will replace any dead plant material, remove trash and sediment and replenish mulch during that period. Overall, installation involved approximately one week and had limited impacts to the numerous utility constraints that were faced at this site.
Subscribe to the RainScapes Gazette
The RainScapes Gazette offers timely and valuable information about upcoming workshops, seminars, field trips, publications, and resources on every aspect of RainScapes, low impact development, and stormwater management. Subscribe to this occasional email bulletin by following these steps:
- Go to the County's e-subscriptions page
- Click on "Create an Account"
- Scroll down to Environmental Protection
- Check RainScapes Gazette
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