Thanks to a great partnership with and funding from the National Wildlife Federation, Blue Water Baltimore recently installed two stormwater planters at Prince of Peace Baptist Church in the McElderry Park neighborhood in Southeast Baltimore. Our first effort with this type of Best Management Practice, these stormwater planters can retain up to 224 gallons of runoff from the 1,742 square feet of rooftop that drains into the planters.
The stormwater planters are similar to traditional planters, but they differ in that they are designed to receive stormwater through a downspout diverter and clean the water before it returns to the stormwater sewer system. The soil mix is specifically chosen to ensure adequate drainage, reduce pollutant loads, and support plant growth. Beneath the soil is a layer of gravel that surrounds a perforated underdrain. In large storm events, excess water enters the overflow port and is carried to the underdrain, where the water can be retained in the layer of gravel or transported back to the stormwater sewer system through the downspout it is connected to. Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) and goldenstar (Chrysogonum virginianum), both native plants, are featured in the planters. These plants were chosen because they are well adapted to Maryland’s climate, can survive through periods of water inundation, enhance pollutant reduction, and provide important pollinator habitat.
Stormwater planters are a great option for those who want an aesthetically pleasing way to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff on their property, but don’t have the ideal site conditions to install a practice in the ground. Blue Water Baltimore is excited to have had this opportunity and is looking forward to working on more stormwater planters in the future. For more information, contact Erin Bennett at 410.254.1577×106 or [email protected].