The Penn State Master Watershed Steward program has received a $10,000 Healing the Planet Grant from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
This grant funding is supported by the Giant Corp. and provides for several projects across the state including the installation of 30 demonstration downspout planters, two stormwater basin naturalization projects, and one live stake nursery installation.
The Master Watershed Steward program of Bucks County was included in this grant and was able to install a stormwater basin naturalization project in New Britain Township with the approval of the New Britain Board of Supervisors and the assistance of New Britain Township Manager Matt West.
Stormwater basins help capture stormwater from nearby developments. Without a basin, fast moving water could erode nearby streams or cause flooding. During a storm, rainwater is collected from streets and parking lots and directed into the basin. The stormwater is stored temporarily and slowly infiltrates into the ground.
Naturalizing a basin involves switching the vegetation from mowed turf grass to a more diverse mix of plants that provide habitat and do not need frequent mowing. In the fullness of time, a mowed grass basin will have been converted into a dynamic natural ecosystem that is full of life.
The basin plantings were installed, fenced, and mulched by Master Watershed Steward volunteers from Bucks County during April and May of this year. Interpretive signage explaining the project and its benefits was installed in June.
Some of the benefits of a naturalized basin include reduced flooding and erosion by soaking up stormwater, improved water quality when plants filter out sediment and pollutants from stormwater, less mowing, enhanced aesthetics, and habitat benefits that attract birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
For more information about this event or the Master Watershed Steward program, contact program coordinator Kathleen Connally at 267-483-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.