What’s New and Cool along Sligo Creek
Ed Murtagh - June 15, 2013
A second new "green" feature is located along Dennis Avenue, where the county’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in coordination with the Parks, is installing “bioretention gardens” as part of the county’s Dennis Avenue green streets initiative. The project was funded by DEP and the county’s Department of Transportation. These installations work by diverting hot polluted stormwater runoff from Dennis Avenue and directing it to the bioretention gardens. When completed, these installations will become beautiful green spaces that also protect Sligo Creek. The gardens use a special soil mix that allows runoff from Dennis Avenue to easily soak in. The soil is full of roots and microbes that break down pollutants like petroleum products that leak from cars. The native plants also soak up water and nutrients through their deep roots. The runoff is then stored in a bed of gravel so it can slowly soak into the soil and gradually enters into Sligo Creek as cool, clean water. If there is so much rain that the gravel storage is full of water, perforated pipes beneath the soil mix, but on top of the gravel bed, collect the rain water and pipe it to the storm drains and into Sligo Creek.
These are but two small efforts in the much larger, long-term project to clean up Sligo Creek. Montgomery County officials stress that they cannot fully restore Sligo Creek without the help of the communities located alongside it. This will take joint efforts by local and state governments, homeowners, businesses, and institutions all working together to achieve our goals. You can help us restore Sligo Creek by learning how to manage stormwater on your own property and by supporting Friends of Sligo Creek. Visit us on our homepage (you can also click on the join the listserv button on the right side of our homepage to get added to our listserv) or “like” us on Facebook.
Ed Murtagh is actively involved with stormwater outreach and education efforts with Friends of Sligo Creek and Neighbors of the Northwest Branch.