A stormwater restoration project designed by Barry Isett & Associates for The Vineyards, Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County received the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s (PWC) 2013 Land Use Award. The PWC is a non-profit devoted to protecting the water quality of the Perkiomen Creek and its tributaries in a 362 square-mile watershed that encompasses 57 municipalities in Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties.
The Vineyards, an active 55 and older planned community, completed construction and installation of three natural stormwater basins. Isett’s involvement began in late 2008, when now-retired grant specialist, Joe Hoffman was approached by the PWC to assist in the preparation of a $61,000 grant awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection as part of its Growing Greener initiative to fund a demonstration project. Isett’s Bryan Smith, RLA, ASLA, was the project manager in the design of a retro-fit of the stormwater basins, converting them from grassy lawns to rain garden plantings. The deep roots of the native plants allow for increased water recharge back into the ground. The plants help reduce soil erosion and the use of chemicals often used in lawn care is avoided.
Residents of The Vineyards community devoted over 600 volunteer hours to assist with the plantings. Several board members of the homeowners association became especially enthusiastic advocates for the project and helped educate residents about the value of the project. The stormwater basin restoration is now a demonstration site for others who want to do similar work; it is included in tours conducted by the Montgomery County Conservation District and Ursinus College to explore Best Management Practices involving stormwater management.
- Landscape Architecture