Located in the headwaters of Spa Creek, which is currently being converted into a restored streambed, the Southwoods community had a stormwater runoff problem. The neighborhood contributed runoff at the very beginning of Spa Creek by discarging stormwater into a stream that was confined by a gabion basket channel. During a storm pollutants and suspended solids rushed through the headwaters contributing to the poor health of Spa Creek. A partnership was formed including the Southwoods Homeowners Association to correct the runoff problems.
The Creek headwaters was a degraded creek channel with active stream bank erosion, stream bed sedimentation, exposed sewer crossings, a silted-in tidal cove, impaired benthic and riparian habitat, and poor water quality. The Southwoods community drains a sub-watershed of approximately 10.3 acres, including a portion of ultra-urban Annapolis. Their restoration will help ensure the success of the entire Headwaters Restoration.
The Southwoods project is highlighted because it enlists private property owners to install stormwater best management practices (SWBMP). Private property is the largest contributor to tributary and Bay TMDL pollution factors, and the hardest to engage for the installation of SWBMP. Southwoods is a highly-engaged community with committed and involved community members. The community’s engagement is centered in its common sense of ownership of the upper Spa Creek watershed and the benefits derived by the retrofits these Creek neighbors undertake.
The neighborhood retrofit included:
- Four (4) SWBMP including rain gardens
- Twenty-seven (27) pervious concrete parking pads
- One (1) bioswale
- Two (2) conservation landscaping
- Community outreach and education, and removal of invasive species
The grant dollars funded 25 parking pads, SHAI funded 2 parking pads and the Southwoods community is assessing homeowners to complete the remaining 27 parking pads as they fail.
The Southwoods Homeowners Association, Inc. (SHAI) project was funded through a Severn River Association Stormwater Action Fund Community Assessment Grant of $1,500, a matching SHAI contribution of $1,500, $2,000 from Spa Creek Conservancy, and a NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Grant of $192,518 from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The grant was applied for and managed by Spa Creek Conservancy.