Lower Providence Township Basin Naturalization Project – Basin 13

Description

The naturalized basin conversion project began in 2002. The project involved retrofitting six existing, mown grass stormwater detention basins into naturalized infiltration basins. The project naturalized five basins by the summer of 2003 and fully converted a sixth basin by the spring 2004.

The goals of the project included improved aesthetics, improved water quality, decreased stream temperature, increased groundwater infiltration, and a cost saving to the Township in the form of decreased mowing requirements.

In the spring 2003, volunteers planted shrubs and trees in Basin 13. The existing turf grass was eliminated in April and May by applying a systemic, non-selective and non-residual herbicide. Meadow seed mixes were planted, including three separate seed mixes – a floodplain mix on the bottom, a showy upland mix on the side slopes, and a general detention basin mix throughout the entire basin. Volunteers, including school groups and neighbors, also planted approximately 350 perennial plugs in the bottom of the basin.

Project results include: the successful restoration of a traditional stormwater management basin to a more natural condition; the reduction of municipal maintenance requirements; a more aesthetically diverse landscape; and enhanced wildlife habitat. (Please note that water quality samples were taken but the results were inconclusive.) The basin will be monitored by a series of maintenance procedures developed with input from several sources, including landscape architects and land managers familiar with naturalized basins and the owner of a native plant nursery.

To educate and involve the surrounding community, an educational brochure describing the benefits of naturalized stormwater basins was created and distributed. Public workshops at the Township Building informed homeowners living adjacent to the basins and other interested parties. In addition, informational signs installed at each basin upon completion educate the general public about the project.

Quantity Botanical Name Common Name
15 Cornus ammomum Silky dogwood
20 Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood
13 Viburnum lentago Nannyberry
7 Viburnum trilobum Cranberrybush viburnum
15 Sambucus canadensis Elderberry
3 Platanus occidentalis Sycamore
3 Liquidambar styraciflua Sweetgum
4 Quercus alba White oak
100 Acorus calamus Sweetflag
50 Iris versicolor Blueflag
100 Juncus effusus Soft rush
50 Scirpus tabermontanii Soft stem bulrush
50 Vernonia noveboracensis New York ironweed

Location

County:         Montgomery
Watershed:   Perkiomen Creek

Basin 13 occupies a 25,875 square foot corner site on Skyline Circle and Featherbed Lane within Lower Providence Township in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The lawn-covered basin is delineated by a split rail and wire mesh fence. The side of one house sits adjacent to the long side of the basin. A landscaped buffer of trees and shrubs separates the rear of the basin from another home.

Partners

Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy
Montgomery County Planning Commission
Lower Providence Township
Philadelphia Suburban Water Company (now Aqua America)

Cost

$98,795.00 (Total for all six basins)
Funded by a PA DEP Growing Greener Grant

Contact

Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy
1 Skippack Pike
Schwenksville, PA 19473
www.perkiomenwatershed.org
610-287-9383

Lower Providence Township
100 Parklane Drive
Eagleville, PA 19403
610-539-8020

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