Through the Stormwater Savvy program, the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) creates action-oriented design plans that are water and people friendly, improving water quality while also improving a community’s engagement with their landscape. Through an immersive community design process, our team of experienced staff and professional volunteers helps communities in Prince George’s County refine their vision and then create drawings and plans that clearly communicate this idea. These necessary plans can be taken to grantors to request funding and then, as needed, to professional contractors who can bring the community vision to life.
Besides providing actionable master plans, Stormwater Savvy’s engagement process seeks to inspire people to take ownership of the land around them. Time and again residents approach a common space as someone else’s space. Having a group of people work together to plan for how that space can be exciting, enjoyable, interactive, peaceful, educational, or otherwise address community priorities, while also exploring how it can be sustainable and provide ecosystem services increases a sense of belonging and pride and shifts perceptions of the local environment. That new outlook is one where people learn they have an effect on the world around them, and that they want it to be a good one. Their perspective changes, and they start to see things like the water running down their street as something they own, not someone else’s problem somewhere else. This kind of experiential learning is key to making citizens into stewards.
So, how can this program help you? By encouraging or creating a group of green team volunteers; having a plan that you can implement as opportunities arise (water is part of a system, and it’s better to have an overall approach to how you manage water, instead of a piecemeal hodgepodge); and knowing what kinds of opportunities are available for your property and how you can get started making changes.
This program first started in January of 2015 and is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and serves communities in Prince George’s County. It aims to help residential communities, faith-based groups, schools, and other nonprofit organizations that own and manage property. The process takes about 6 months to accommodate scheduling the community workshop and community feedback meeting, as well as all the design time. Applications can be found here.
Here is a highlighted project from Stormwater Savvy:
For more information about Stormwater Pond Retrofit and Beautification, please contact Rachel McNamara, Program Manager, at 301.830.8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.