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Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy Pilot Program Completes Class Project

Jun 02, 2015 06:00PM ● Published by Kevin

With shovels and rakes in hand, members of the Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) completed their class project at the County Administration Building in Elkton, MD. The project, involving work over two weekends, included the installation of gutters, downspouts, and rain barrels on a pavilion and the construction of a micro-bioretention facility to treat stormwater runoff from a portion of the County Administration Building's parking lot. The class project is the practical application of what the watershed stewards have learned as part of their year-long training on how to identify and treat stormwater runoff in and around their communities. As part of the WSA pilot program, these participants have spent 60 hours in the classroom learning about stormwater principles, community outreach and education, and identifying resources and building partnerships to address water quality issues. They have also spent time in the field learning about installation and maintenance of small-scale stormwater management practices.

Once the project location was identified, local engineer Dan Speakman from McCrone, Inc. assisted the class with assessing soil properties, an essential factor in the design for the micro-bioretention facility. Class members then designed the facility, identified vendors and costs for supplies and materials, and enlisted volunteers to design the landscape plan.  On Saturday, April 25th the class met on site and worked all day excavating and moving soil, placing gravel and a blended soil media called biosoil, then planted the micro-bioretention area with an array of plants including  False Indigo, New York Ironweed and Little Bluestem. In addition to treating stormwater runoff, the WSA participants hope that this project will be used as an educational resource and a demonstration for future WSA classes as well as county citizens who visit the Administration Building.

Other vendors and supporters of the project include Adkins Arboretum, Cecil County Master Gardeners, Cecil County Roads Division and Facilities Management, Environmental Concern, Mega Materials, Stancill's, Sussex Landscaping, Tri Supply & Equipment, Vannoy's, Wilson T. Ballard, AB Consultants, Ms. Patty Lemmerman, and Mr. Mike Evans.

The Cecil County WSA is a partnership between Development Services Division of the Department of Public Works and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension. The program trains and supports community leaders in Maryland to serve as Master Watershed Stewards: leaders in their communities who can identify and assess areas to implement stormwater management practices, educate local citizens, and assist the County in reaching its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals. The Cecil County WSA receives funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Cecil County Department of Public Works, and University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension.

For more information about the Cecil County WSA program or to sign up for the 2015-16 class, contact Jen Dindinger at jdinding@umd.edu,  Marshall McSorley at mmcsorley@ccgov.org or Eric Buehl at ebuehl@umd.edu

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