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Montgomery County’s Glenmont Forest and Wheaton Hills ‘Green Streets’ Project Awarded $1.5 million in Grants to Improve Water Quality, Manage Stormwater

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 12, 2020

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received three grants totaling $1.5 million to construct a “Green Street Project” in the Silver Spring neighborhoods of Glenmont Forest and Wheaton Hills to improve water quality of local streams and help manage stormwater runoff.

Grant awards were received from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to help fund the community-supported projects that will include the construction of approximately 60 rain gardens, bioretention gardens and tree boxes called “Filterras.”

DEP has been collaborating with multiple agencies and partners to improve eroded streams, modify stormwater ponds and install modern green infrastructure (such as rain gardens) for many years to improve the County’s water quality. The Green Streets project is part of the County’s nationally recognized comprehensive stormwater management program and will complement previous restoration work in the Joseph’s Branch of the Rock Creek watershed

The County also will be partnering with the nonprofit, the Rock Creek Conservancy to collaborate on outreach and community engagement activities that will include installing rain barrels in the neighborhood, educational lessons and promoting programs like Tree Montgomery and RainScapes.

“The Department of Environmental Protection is committed to improving the water quality of our local streams and other natural spaces while contributing to the health and sustainability of communities,” said DEP Director, Adam Ortiz. “We are thrilled to receive this funding that will reduce costs to the County and collaborate with our hard-working partners who share our mission.”

Rock Creek Conservancy Executive Director Jeanne Braha said the project will provide numerous benefits.

“Partnering with the County on projects like this is so crucial to provide residents community amenities and tools like our Stream Team Leader program,” she said. “People-powered restoration works best when residents are empowered to actively improve their communities. Advancing this project with the engagement and support of the Glenmont Forest and Wheaton Hills communities is something we will be very proud to be a part of. Working in collaboration with the County, residents will have a hand in improving their local stream.”

The project is part of the County’s comprehensive stormwater management program. Small-scale facilities—such as rain gardens—intercept stormwater runoff closer to its source and thereby provide more opportunity for stormwater to soak into the ground and reduce pollution to the water supply. The boundaries for this project are Randolph Road and Parker Avenue to the north and south, Berry and Medway streets to the east and Georgia Avenue to the west.

Phase 1 of the project will begin in January with a social media campaign and community engagement that includes installing rain barrels and a pet waste station in the neighborhoods. The early stages also will include working with the community and area schools on watershed lessons and stream cleanups. Project construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2021.

See the project website for more details at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water/restoration/glenmont-forest.html

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Release ID: 20-593
Media Contact: Cindy Pena 202-875-1563