Celebrate the Completion of Breewood Tributary Project

Join with our friends from government and community organizations to celebrate the completion of Breewood Tributary’s dramatic restoration on Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 10am to 12:30pm. The event includes expert-led tours of the project, refreshments, free plants for your yard, and a chance to win a rain barrel.

The event starts at the parking lot of Northwood Presbyterian Church, located at 1200 University Boulevard West, on the south side of University between Sligo Creek Parkway and Arcola Avenue. The parking lot adjoins Breewood Neighborhood Park.

Tours led by staff from the county’s Department of Environmental Protection will visit the tributary streambed and riparian plantings, roadside rain gardens in the Breewood Manor neighborhood, a large bioretention installation at the end of Breewood Road, and the pervious pavement at University Towers Condominium. The massive erosion of Breewood Tributary (at left) before the stream bed restoration work was completed (at right). Note: further Breewood photos are available at MyGreenMontgomery.org.

Before the restoration work began (above) and afterward (right). Photos by MD DEP

Tours will visit the restored creek bed and riparian zone, stormwater bioswales, roadside rain gardens, and the permeable pavements at University Towers.

All of these efforts have brought life back to the Breewood Tributary after it suffered for decades from severe erosion, pollution, and declining wildlife habitat. The tributary drains about 50 acres on either side of University Boulevard and joins Sligo Creek after crossing under the Parkway.

The stream’s amazing is comeback is thanks to the collaborative efforts of Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the State of Maryland, Montgomery Parks, University Towers, Northwood Presbyterian Church, watershed conservation groups, and Breewood Manor residents.

In 2009, Montgomery County selected the Breewood Tributary for watershed restoration in order to meet state requirements. Housing and commercial development from the 1950s had not incorporated the stormwater management practices commonly used today.

As a result, uncontrolled storm water flows caused massive erosion, exposed sewer lines, increased water pollution and fish blockages, and degraded the overall habitat.

The county completed its assessment of the tributary in 2011, created a design plan and held public meetings in 2012, finalized the designs in 2014, and completed the stream channel construction and plantings in 2015.

A series of rain gardens and bioswales along the neighborhood roads was completed in 2014. Finally, in 2017, the county completed large bioretention projects at the end of Breewood Road and in the parking lots of the Presbyterian church and University Towers. Since then, the plants in these installations have grown out, established effective root systems to absorb rain water, and matured into visually appealing arrays of plants. For more information, contact [email protected].

Montgomery County has news and photos of the Breewood Project on the MyGreenMontgomery.org website.

Author: Michael Wilpers, FOSC newsletter editor, August 2019