What is a watershed?
A watershed is the land region draining into a stream, river or body of water. There are 20 sub- watersheds in the Columbia area. The main two watersheds are the Little and Middle Patuxent rivers, which are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Columbia has an area of the 28 square miles; the watershed draining area is 49 square miles.
What is CA doing to protect Columbia’s waterways?
Columbia Association developed the Columbia Watershed Management Plan, or CWMP with the objective of protecting and restoring the waters of Columbia. The plan uses two distinct approaches.
- First is identifying and restoring the watershed infrastructure, performing intensive investigations to find pollution sources and designing restoration projects to reduce them.
- Second is educating and involving residents and property owners in watershed stewardship.
Watershed Advisory Committee
In spring 2008, Columbia Association (CA) announced the formation of its Watershed Advisory Committee (WAC). The mission of this subcommittee is to participate in the creation and implementation of CA watershed plans, enhance public awareness and facilitate education on watershed issues. In fulfilling its mission, the Committee has the following important goals:
- To recommend:
- Techniques, procedures and approaches in the creation ofwatershed policies and plans.
- Management practices for watershed related issues.
- Methods for monitoring progress of the watershed plan.
2. To assist in the:
- Creation of specific measurable goals.
- Creation and implementation of public awareness and education.
- Review and update watershed plans and policies as needed.
A rain garden is a shallow excavated depression or saucer shaped garden designed to collect stormwater runoff from roofs, pavements, sidewalks and other impervious surfaces. Rather than discharging pollutants directly into waters, the rain garden serves as a natural filter that temporarily stores the runoff, filters it and then releases it over a period of time. This reduces the amount of pollutants that will eventually enter our waterways. Rain gardens are also a great way to slow down the speed of rainwater, which lessens the impact stormwater runoff has on eroding the banks of our lakes.
A key factor in helping to Slow the Flow is using rain gardens with native plants, trees, shrub, grasses and flowers. The fundamental advantage of native plants is that they have adapted to local conditions such as soil and climate. They are more resistant to insects and need less fertilizer. They generally don’t need much maintenance once you add them to your landscape.
Capturing clean rainwater from your roof, driveway and sidewalks, and diverting it into a great looking rain garden, will filter contaminants and keep unclean water from going down the sewer system. And you’ll have a great looking garden that puts water in its place!
Rain Garden Cost Share Program
The Columbia Association (CA) is offering the Rain Garden Cost Share Program to provide a cost-effective way to help residents of Owen Brown and Long Reach villages plant their own rain gardens. CA, through a grant from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, will pay 75% of the rain garden installation cost with the remaining 25% paid by the resident. CA also has a landscape firm on contract for installation.
Residents need to apply to their village Resident Architectural Committee for rain garden approval. Once the application is approved, the 25% resident share is paid to CA and the maintenance agreement signed, the installation will be scheduled.
Management Plan The Columbia Association developed the Columbia Watershed Management Plan, or CWMP, with the objective of protecting and restoring the waters of Columbia. The plan uses two distinct approaches. The first identifies and restores the watershed infrastructure by performing intensive investigations to find pollution sources and designing restoration projects to reduce them. The second is educating and involving residents and property owners in watershed stewardship.