Sligo Park Hills Green Neighborhood

What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.  

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

bioretention / rain gardens
before image
The bioretention project under construction. Credit: Kit Gage, President of Friends of Sligo Creek.
after image
The bioretention area that replaced the old central drain pipe. Credit: Kit Gage, President of Friends of Sligo Creek.

 

Project location: Silver Spring, MD

Problem:  Sligo Park Hills, a neighborhood in Silver Spring, was experiencing severe flooding and erosion during rain events, with portions of speed bumps breaking away and washing down the street.  Road debris, silt, and pollutants were washing into Sligo Creek, which feeds into the Anacostia River. 

Solution:  The neighborhood’s streets were scheduled to be repaired via conventional methods – a central drain pipe installed under the road.  Following pressure from community residents to forge a more environmentally-friendly solution, one that mitigates stormwater flows rather than simply draining water to a buried pipe – the Maryland Department of Environmental Protection and the MD Department of Transportation worked with the community to design a new plan.  The result was the construction of a large bioretention area consisting of bioswales, tree boxes and permeable pavement pads.  The system is able to absorb the first inch of rainfall during a storm event, reducing pressure on the storm drain conveyance system.

Maintenance needs:  In the first year, some plant replacement in bioswales.  Following the first year, annual weeding and vacuuming silt from bioswales and parking pads

Funding sources:  Montgomery County stormwater fees; hundreds of volunteer hours

More information: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water/rainscapes/sligo-park-hills.html

 

Contact Information
Kit Gage | kgage@verizon.net | 301-587-7442
Key project facts
Project Type
Bioretention
Story Focus
Cost Efficiency
Job Creation
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Stormwater Funds
Yes
Problem Addressed
Aesthetics
Erosion
Failing Infrastructure
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
2015
State Legislative District
20
Federal Legislative District
8