May 4, 2009
Stormwater Committee Meeting

Ann Hoffnar
Jenny Reed
Kit Gage
Ed Murtagh
Jim Fary
Wendy Bell
Elaine Lamirande
Phil Downey
Eliza Reed

Stormwater Partners Meeting
Ed Murtagh reported on mud pollution and sediment and erosion control problems at construction sites in the Sligo watershed. He, Jim Fary, and Kathy Michels have been tracking ongoing problems at the Centrix construction site at George Ave and Arcola. It was noted that the new Takoma Park fire station is also lacking effective erosion and sediment controls and we would like to see steps taken to deal effectively with these problems. The Montgomery County Stormwater Partners has recently decided to make improving E&S controls a priority.

Silver Spring Library
Jenny gave an update on the first public Charrette for the library. The design firm noted plans for a green roof for the new library. Due to the building footprint proposed (large for the site), little else is anticipated. The design firm representative did not appear very interested in the public’s input (spent most of the time talking rather than listening). County should require designers and architects with a background in sustainability for County projects. Jenny will report back on the next Charrette.

Rain Garden Projects
There have been 9 rain gardens installed through our CBT grant so far. There has been a strong positive response in neighborhoods like Woodmoor. The committee discussed determining on an individual basis whether there is a need for a rain garden. It was suggested that 2 people go and speak to the homeowner and also talk about other solutions to dealing with rain, getting rid of lawn, and planting natives. This is a valuable service in terms of disseminating information but can’t be done for free. Homeowners should be willing to pay a small fee for an assessment even if they don’t get a rain garden.

We discussed the importance of better signage that would advertise that people have rain gardens. Ed suggested printing an announcement sheet that can be passed out in a neighborhood to alert people to a rain garden installation (like the one Diane made for the projects on Dennis Ave.)

Kit Gage anticipates the county continuing to provide free plants and soil and to start providing some labor from Casa de Maryland.

Community Gardens
Kit Gage reported that plans for a community garden at Orchard and 5th St near New Hampshire Ave. are going ahead pending the grant. Boy Scout Troop 33 will do the planting. It is a great opportunity to talk up natives.

The new rain garden project at Pinecrest Elementary School (Woodmoor community) is going forward. The Montgomery County School Facilities Division is requiring that a Maintenance Agreement be in place about who’s going to maintain it.

Greening Wheaton
Several FOSC members are on the Sustainable Redevelopment Sub-Committee. Beth Chaisson chairs this sub-committee. The sub-committee will do an outreach effort at the Taste of Wheaton later in May. The outreach will include LID practices and the importance of native plants.