Winchester on the Severn Rain Garden

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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!

Before the rain garden was installed, there was frequent and muddy street flooding. Credit: Eloise Ullman.
The newly installed rain garden keeps water off the streets and away from the Bay. Credit: Eloise Ullman.


Project location: Annapolis, MD

Problem:  Winchester on the Severn is a residential neighborhood north of Annapolis.  In one section of the community, an old stormwater conveyance system was failing, with water flows scouring the nearby hillside and polluted runoff impairing Chase Creek, a tributary of the Severn River. 

Solution: Members of the community came together to seek a solution.  The result was the installation of a rain garden consisting of native plantings.  The garden has mitigated stormwater flows, reduced erosion, attracted butterflies, and improved the aesthetics of the area.  Aware of the garden’s water quality benefits, community members are committed to conducting ongoing maintenance.

Scale: 500 square feet

Cost: $8,000

Funding sources: Chesapeake Bay Trust; Severn Riverkeeper; Unity Gardens; Winchester on the Severn residential community

Contact information:

Eloise Ullman | 410-757-1966
Anne Arundel

Key project facts

Project Type:
< $10,000
Story Focus:
Cost Efficiency, Environmental Benefits, Monitoring, Community Engagement
Stormwater Utility Funds:
Problem Addressed:
Aesthetics, Erosion, Failing Infrastructure, Flooding / Drainage, Health Hazard, Runoff Pollution
Year Installed:
Before 2013
State Legislative District:
Congressional District:
MD 4th