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RainScapes Neighborhood: Sligo Park Hills

 

Sligo Park Hills is one of the earliest neighborhoods developed in Montgomery County, and is known for very active resident participation. 

The steepness of roads in the neighborhood, a lack of an existing drainage system, flooding concerns, and on-going erosion have made this neighborhood a target for a focused effort by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 

Sligo Park Hills is very close to Sligo Creek. The neighborhood has no existing stormwater or drainage infrastructure prior to recent Green Street and RainScapes efforts. Stormwater management efforts in this community are part of the ongoing effort to restore and repair conditions in Sligo Creek and the Anacostia watershed.

In a neighborhood that is already developed, opportunities for retroactively adding stormwater management are constrained by the existing infrastructure and property boundaries. Thus, when a comprehensive study is undertaken, opportunities are identified on both public and private land in order to determine the maximum amount of runoff reduction that can be accomplished.

  • Retrofits in the right of way are known as Green Street Projects.

  • Landscaping projects that reduce stormwater runoff are called RainScapes. RainScapes reduce rain runoff from roofs, residential walkways, driveways, and compacted lawns and include rain gardens, conservation landscapes, cisterns and rain barrels, and dry wells.  RainScapes add beautiful landscaping to your yard, and help control stormwater pollution and stream erosion. These projects may also help reduce drainage problems from adjacent properties. 

 

Retrofitting a Neighborhood

In many older communities, a combined retrofit effort, focusing on both public land and private property will maximize stormwater treatment potential. The community proposed that  green infrastructure alternatives be considered to help solve the neighborhood's drainage needs as plans were being made to repair neighborhood streets and add new storm drains.

At the same time, retrofits would provide much needed stormwater treatment for area roads and residential property. The combination of community and agency involvement became an opportunity for DEP and DOT to collaborate in the right-of-way and for DEP RainScapes to work with the local community to provide additional stormwater control on private properties. 

The combined impact of retrofitting Green Streets and RainScapes projects is to reduce the volume of runoff and improve the quality of drainage from this neighborhood into Sligo Creek, while actively engaging residents in watershed restoration efforts. 

 

RainScapes Neighborhood Goal

Our goal in Sligo Park Hills is to encourage between 10% - 30% of neighborhood residents to participate in installing a project, or between 24 and 72 homes. We are at a 4% participation level now including installations and RainScapes Rewards rebate projects (see the map below).

 

Sligo Park Hills Neighborhood Project Map

The following map shows all the current and completed projects that fall within the Sligo Park Hills Neighborhood boundary. ( Please click the double arrow at the top of the map to see the legend.)

 

 

RainScapes Neighborhood Process in Sligo Park Hills

The Sligo Park Hills Neighborhood process used a combined outreach strategy to identify property owners interested in RainScapes projects on their own private property, in conjunction with neighborhood-wide screening of potential tree impacts, and community input.

 

Site Assessment and Design

Residents who choose to participate in the RainScapes program are scheduled for a site assessment field visit on their property. At this field meeting, DEP staff or our contractor meet with homeowners to assess the nature of stormwater drainage on and around the property, and where and how it could be treated on-site using a RainScapes project. Landscaping goals and preferences of the owners are also discussed at that time. Based on the outcome of the site assessment, recommendations are provided for a range of RainScapes projects that are eligible for rebate funding. 

The initial projects were provided by the County and were intended to provide a demonstration in the community so that property owners could have close-by examples of RainScapes at work. At this time, we are able to offer site assessments to interested property owners in this neighborhood. Residents are encouraged to find out more about how to help the Sligo Park Hills community and Sligo Creek stormwater management effort in partnership with the RainScapes Program. Please visit the  RainScapes Rewards Website  for information on the variety of RainScapes projects possible on private property.  

If you have questions about Sligo Park Hills, or questions about the RainScapes Neighborhood Program please email  RainScapes@montgomerycountymd.gov, Attention: Pam Rowe. Or call RainScapes at 240-777-7702

 

Neighborhood Opportunities and Constraints

Yards in the neighborhood have been evaluated for general RainScapes project suitability and potential. This evaluation looked at potential front yard space and drainage patterns from the roof-tops and driveways. The evaluation was conducted from the public ROW - we did not need to enter private property for this phase.

Of the 212 lots included in the assessment, 90 homes, or 43% have good potential for on-lot RainScapes approaches. The primary constraints in the neighborhood are the existing mature tree canopy, and steep topography. 

 

How Can I Participate in the RainScapes Neighborhood Program in Sligo Park Hills?

Option One: Request a Site Assessment 

If you are interested in scheduling a RainScapes Site Assessment for your property, contact DEP at  rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-7702 and indicate you are in Sligo Park Hills. Please leave your name, address and contact information and we will get in touch with you to set up a site assessment appointment for your property. 

Click here to see an example of RainScapes Site Assessment Report (PDF, 2.63MB)

You may also go directly to RainScapes Rewards Rebate application site if you already have a project idea and location in mind for a project. The application process will initiate scheduling a site visit with RainScapes staff to look at your property with you and to discuss your desired project. 

 

Option Two: Add Your Existing Runoff Reduction Project to the Map

If you have already taken steps to "RainScapes" your property and reduce your rainfall runoff footprint but did not participate in the RainScapes Rewards program, please let us know by sending a photo and description, along with the address of your project to Rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov. We are tracking the Neighborhood's runoff reduction progress!

You may also be interested to know, that you could be eligible for a WQPC credit through the DEP Water Quality Protection Charge Credit Program. Use the above link to find out if you are eligible and learn how to apply for a reduction in the annual fee (WQPC) paid on your property tax bill.

 

Questions

For questions about Sligo Park Hills RainScapes initiative, please contact Pamela Rowe, RainScapes Planner, at pamela.rowe@montgomerycountymd.gov Or

RainScapes Helpdesk: Rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov; 240-777-7702

 

 
 
 
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