A Garden Protecting Rock CreekFriends of Pierce Mill
In 2011, the Friends of Pierce Mill partnered with the National Park Service to revive the plantings and install water sustainability features at this garden. These features include two rain gardens, a pervious paver area, and a "downspout disconnect." Visit and see how homeowners can help Rock Creek or their neighborhood stream through simple changes in how rainfall is used.
More info: http:/ddoe.dc.gov/riversmarthomes
What You Can Do On Your Property
Stormwater washes lawn fertilizers and pesticides into creeks and harms the Chesapeake Bay. Consult cbf.org for sustainable able lawn care tips.
If feasible, disconnect downspouts leading to drainage pipes and street, or driveway, and direct to yard, rain barrel, or rain garden. Here's a typical rain garden design: [pictured]
These photos show the difference between a healthy stream bank (left) and a stream bank eroded by stormwater(right).
Select Plants Wisely
A broad selection of attractive wildflowers, shrubs and trees can be used for a rain garden; they also can add beauty to landscaping project on your property.
· Blue Vervain
· Winterberry Holly
· Oxeye Sunflower
· Purple Coneflower
· Butterfly Weed
Use Pervious Pavers
Homeowners can increase absorption of rainfall into the soil by laying stepping stones or patios on top of gravel and other pervious materials.
Rock Creek and Its Tributaries
The Nature Center is in the southern portion of the 80-square-mile Rock Creek watershed or drainage area, which begins near Laytonsville in Montgomery County. About two-thirds of the stream network has been covered by roads, parking lots and other impervious development. This means that rainfall doesn't get absorbed in these areas, and that storm sewers convey torrents of water that erode stream banks and topples trees. Storm water also disrupts the natural food chain by destroying habitat for aquatic insects and fish, and contributes to the degradation of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.