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Reduce storm water runoff in the neighborhood.Edit

Introduction:Edit

Currently, most of the rainwater and precipitation that falls on the neighborhood flows directly into the storm drains which in turn flows into the Inner Harbor and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Because most of our surfaces are impervious such as rooftops, concrete sidewalk and asphalt roads, particulate pollutants, trash, warmer water, into the a majority of the water that falls within the neighborhood is carried away into storm drains that empty into the harbor. This storm water, and the pollutants it carries, impacts the quality of water in the neighborhood and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Reducing and treating storm water runoff not only reduces the pollutant levels but also offer opportunities for increasing planted areas.

A second pollution concern is air quality, specifically reducing Code Red and Orange days by reducing Green House Gas Emissions (GHGs).

Successful pollution prevention will be contingent on education and outreach to residents about impacts of pollution, choices we make and strategies we can take to lower our collective impact on the Bay.

Strategies: Storm WaterEdit

1. Increase street planting areas that filter storm water runoff.
Given the amount of water that collects on roads and sidewalks when it rains or snows, utilizing the public right of way allows for storm water runoff to be filtered into the soil before it reaches storm drains. Often called “rain gardens” or “bio-retention areas”, these green spaces include a range of different types, including:

  • Implement rain gardens in curb bump outs where appropriate. Traffic calming “bump outs” on certain streets and on angle parking streets are planted areas that absorb rainwater and allow water to percolate to the groundwater channels. An average 100 SF bump out planted as a rainwater garden can take up an average XX gallons of water per year.
  • Utilize tree wells to capture storm water runoff. Better planting strategies and care will allow for healthier trees and more water filtering to the groundwater. PPNA Greening Committee should promote better planting and maintenance of tree wells in the neighborhood.

2. Reduce storm water runoff in alleys. XX% of the neighborhood consists of alleys, the vast majority of which are impervious concrete. The Blue Alley project offers an opportunity to test different paving methods for reducing storm water runoff in these areas while maintaining vehicular and pedestrian access.

  • Work with Blue Water Baltimore and the City to expand the Blue Alleys project.
  • Help residents on a block implement greening projects in their alleys.

3. Reduce storm water runoff on private property. A majority of the precipitation that falls in the Patterson Park neighborhood falls on private property – on roof tops and in backyards. Helping residents and businesses reduce the storm water that runs off their property and into the street will reduce volume of water and pollutants entering the streets and the harbor.

  • Create a rain barrel collective. Rain barrels are a way of capturing the water that flows off a roof and using it to irrigate gardens and tree plantings. Unfortunately, most rowhouse residents cannot use all of the rainwater collected in a typical 80 gallon rain barrel. A rain barrel co-op that multiple houses could share is an option for reusing the runoff.
  • Increase the planting in back yards (see Goal 4.C)
  • Encourage residents to plant green roofs. Roofs planted with a 6” planting medium and drought tolerant, heat resistant hardy sedums and perennials can take up an average XX gallons of water. However unless there is a major renovation project underway, most homes in the neighborhood require reinforcing of the roof and building structure to support the load of a green roof. PPNA could potential form a co-op for securing cost effective design and installations services for homeowners wishing for this option.

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