Stormwater Committee Meeting
November 3, 2008

Ed Murtagh (Chair)
Ann Hoffnar
Wendy Bell
Kit Gage
Jenny Reed
Susan Johnson

Greening Montgomery County Schools
Ed reported that he, Beth, Kathy and Diane Cameron, along with many others from other watershed groups, are working to encourage Montgomery County authorities to insist that the schools take on stormwater issues. The schools have a vast amount of property and a clientele that can help educate students and community residents and this potential is not being used.

Raingarden Work
Work for this fall is practically finished. We were directly involved in construction of 9 raingardens since June, two of them in NW Branch watershed.

Heather Phipps’ raingarden is high-profile, with many neighbors expressing interest in having raingardens in their yards. The neighborhood is planning to organize a “Sustainable Landscape Coop”. Ed and Jenny reported that at the work day, Montgomery County camera man took footage to include in a video they are preparing. (Kit reported that they also took “stills” of her raingarden.)

We reviewed many options for next spring, including the Northwood Presbyterian Church– Susan’s church, which would be a big project for which they could possibly get a $5,000 rebate from the County. It is in the Breewood area and could be a showcase. In addition, there is potential for 2 gardens at Heliski’s, along with some of their neighbors; some more gardens in Holly’s neighborhood; and more still in the Long Branch and North Hills of Sligo Creek neighborhoods. Ed and Kit will compile a list so that we don’t forget anyone. So far there are about 15 rain gardens waiting to be built. Some could be built through the rebate program with minimal involvement with the Stormwater Committee.

Ed’s Slide Show
Ed will show the PowerPoint presentation he recently gave at the Woodmoor Pinecrest Civic Association meeting at the next stormwater meeting we have at his house. This presentation has potential to become our outreach tool.

Homeowner Agreement
We looked again at the homeowner agreement and decided to use slightly different language about asking for contributions. Susan wrote down the new sentence for Ed, who will revise the Agreement so it is ready for use.

Miscellaneous Ideas and Assignments
Forest Park: Jenny will go by to assess need for weeding (we’ll leave any planting for spring). Ann will call Colleen Clay if Jenny thinks we can use help weeding. Colleen is very active in the neighborhood and has scouts who can help too.

Kit gave us a brief update on the Takoma Foundation grant. The Foundation asked for clarification to the proposal to provide outreach and technical advice to the residents of Takoma Park on sustainable landscaping and stormwater issues related to homeowner properties. Kit sent the clarifications to the Foundation.

Ann will order more “Better Backyard” booklets for use in outreach.

November 19th: Public meeting with MDE on the stormwater permit. We need someone from the Stormwater Committee to give a 3 minute testimony on our views of the proposed MS4 Permit. Those who can should go.

Our next meeting is not scheduled. We may skip December.

minutes by Ed Murtagh and Ann Hoffnar

Agreement for Demonstration Homeowner Raingarden Installation and Upkeep

The demonstration homeowner raingarden project seeks to accomplish the following:

  • Reduce the environmental impact of stormwater runoff and provide wildlife habitat by installing raingardens on private property in the Sligo watershed.
  • Use raingarden work events as a learning opportunity for property owners and neighbors.
  • Use the finished raingardens as an outreach tool to the neighborhoods involved and the community at large.
  • Provide experience and work for sustainable landscape professionals.
  • Reach out to the community at large with web-based materials and provide supplemental web-based educational material and field trip opportunities
  • related to stormwater runoff and wildlife habitat issues.

To accomplish these objectives, Friends of Sligo Creek agrees to:

  • Plan and coordinate projects to install the raingardens.
  • Provide landscape design assistance.
  • Work with homeowner to obtain soil amendments and a limited quantity of plants from the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Help organize and participate in work days to excavate and plant.
  • Evaluate the work as it progresses and when it is finished.

Property owners agree to:

  • Participate in planning and installation of the raingarden on their properties.
  • Maintain the raingardens, ensuring that they are weeded and watered.
  • Agree to use the rain garden as an outreach tool for their neighbors.

These yard assessments and the supervision of the rain gardens are made by possible by grants from FOSC. We would appreciate your donation to help make these projects possible.


Edward Murtagh, Stormwater Committee Chair
Friends of Sligo Creek


Owner, (address)