When it rains on Arcola Avenue…
The Arcola Avenue Green Street Project integrates environmentally friendly landscaping right into the street design to treat and absorb rainfall runoff from the street.
Rainfall runoff (or stormwater) from the street carries with it automobile fluids, petroleum products, oil, pet waste, trash, and other debris. Along Arcola Avenue, curbside swales, rain gardens and curb extensions with plants filter the runoff through a mixture of highly permeable soils (sand, mulch, compost), then store the water in an underlying gravel bed from which the water percolates into groundwater.
The Arcola Avenue Green Street Project is an example of an environmentally-sensitive design (ESD) stormwater treatment system. Such systems are much smaller in scope and complexity than standard stormwater facilities (e.g. regional stormwater ponds which receive underground piped stormwater from a large area). Arcola Avenue’s stormwater treatment controls runoff pollution, and reduces the volume of runoff that would normally rush into local streams after a rainfall event.
The Arcola Avenue Green Street Project was originally identified as a stormwater management retrofit opportunity in the Anacostia River Restoration Plan (ARP). The ARP, completed in 2010, is a comprehensive 10-year restoration plan that identified restoration opportunities throughout the Anacostia River Watershed. The Arcola Avenue Green Street Project is one of hundreds of restoration opportunities identified in Montgomery County and is an integral part in fulfilling the overarching goal of restoring the Sligo Creek watershed.
The Arcola Avenue Green Street Project is located along a heavily traveled arterial road in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Green Street stretches from University Boulevard to Kemp Mill Shopping Center.
The Department of Environmental Protection (MC-DEP), partnered with the Department of Transportation (MC-DOT) to build thirteen roadside bio-retention swales, which treat nearly three acres of runoff from Arcola Avenue. Most of the landscaping features 1 to 2 feet of gravel recharge zone underlying 2 to 3 feet of bioretention media (a mixture of sand, compost and mulch used to filter/trap urban road pollutants). This soil mix was planted with an attractive array of salt and drought-tolerant native plants, proving that you can both control stormwater and beautify the roadside simultaneously.