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RainScapes Neighborhood: Wheaton Woods

 

Wheaton Woods is located in the Rock Creek Watershed, within the Turkey Branch sub-watershed and was developed during the housing boom that occurred after WWII, during a period of intense sub-urbanization in Montgomery County.

The neighborhood is very typical of communities throughout the Wheaton, Aspen Hill, Kensington, and Silver Spring areas that were built on prior agricultural lands. These communities were built with no stormwater management, and the curb and gutter storm drain system flows pollutants directly to the local stream. Significant stream channel degradation has occurred in these watersheds, and the County has focused watershed restoration efforts in these areas.

 

 

Wheaton Woods has been identified as a RainScapes Neighborhood. This expands restoration efforts of the Turkey Branch stream from public property to private property and provides a model for efforts in subsequent surrounding neighborhoods.

There are a number of large pond retrofits in the watershed above this area, but from this neighborhood downstream, there are no suitable sites for large-scale stormwater pond retrofit projects. Subsequent stormwater retrofits can only be accomplished using small scale, geographically distributed practices, and Green Street retrofits in the public right-of-way.

Stormwater flow monitoring is occurring in the storm drain system to evaluate the success of stormwater management activities in the neighborhood, and DEP is working to engage private property landowners and to encourage participation in retrofitting the neighborhood both on their properties with RainScapes, and through the Green Streets approach.

 

Wheaton Woods Neighborhood Goal

The household participation goal for Wheaton Woods is between 10% and 30% of homes, or 132 to 396 households. This ambitious goal will take a variety of implementation approaches and the engagement of the community to be achieved!

We are starting work in a pilot area of the Neighborhood that includes approximately 144 homes. If retrofits are installed on 14 to 43 properties, the goal of 10% - 30% will be met and monitoring will reveal how much runoff reduction is actually accomplished.

Residents are encouraged to apply for a RainScapes Rewards Rebate for approved projects that reduce runoff from their private property.

 

Neighborhood Opportunities and Constraints

  • The neighborhood has a high level of lot-to-lot drainage patterns where the downspouts of one rooftop are directed to the neighbor's yard or driveway. There are also a large number of downspouts that drain directly to driveways and to the storm drain systems in the street.
  • Limited yard space is one of the primary constraints.
This neighborhood is  a good location for smaller footprint projects which link together to achieve some stormwater management. An example is the installation of water harvesting tools - rain barrels or cisterns - which overflow to conservation landscapes , or a rain garden  and/or trench drain driveway retrofits which direct water to a planted area, rather than the street.

This neighborhood also has a high level of opportunity for planting front-yard tree canopy. 

 

Wheaton Woods Neighborhood Project Map

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

 

 

 

 

RainScapes Neighborhood Process in Wheaton Woods

Specific areas of the neighborhood have been selected for a concentrated effort on RainScapes implementation. Outreach activities will begin in these areas and be expanded to the whole neighborhood. 

 

Block Meetings and Site Assessments

The Rainscapes Neighborhoods program in Wheaton Woods provides a RainScapes site assessment consultation for homeowners to identify the most suitable projects for their property, followed by technical support for homeowners to implement a project through the RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program.


Site assessments sign-up opportunities are available through public meetings and our  RainScapes HelpDesk .

 

How Can I Participate in the Wheaton Woods RainScapes Program?

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 Wheaton Woods. 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 the Wheaton Woods 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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