On June 24, 2022, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, along with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Region, held a press event in the Borough of Chambersburg to announce this year's recipients of awards through the Green Streets, Green Jobs, and Green Towns Grant Program. Thirteen projects involving innovative green infrastructure were awarded funding through this program, including the Watershed Alliance of York (WAY). WAY will be working with the Center for Water Quality Excellence (CWQE) to conduct an outreach project focused on stormwater management for homeowner associations (HOAs).
The project is an opportunity for WAY to facilitate a shared understanding about stormwater management between HOAs, municipalities, and landscape professionals/developers in York and Lancaster counties. Led by the PA CWQE, the project consists of a two-part workshop that will cover ways to retrofit aging stormwater facilities, operations and maintenance responsibilities, and cooperative design exercises for landscape contractors and HOA representatives.
HOAs face issues related to stormwater maintenance and operations. Failing and aging infrastructure threatens property, home values and the quality of water in local streams and ponds. HOAs need assistance in understanding regulatory obligations and how they can work constructively with landscape professionals and municipalities to promote the implementation and maintenance of green infrastructure.
Green infrastructure includes a suite of cost-effective practices that replicate nature’s treatment of stormwater. Practices rely on capturing and managing runoff close to where rain and snow land. By contrast, conventional stormwater management techniques collect and pipe runoff to large basins.
The project will produce a workshop template or module that groups such as watershed organizations can use to easily plan and conduct similar workshop/charrettes in counties throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The module will lead to better implementation of green streets and community greening projects by 1) educating HOAs on the value of green infrastructure and how they can work with municipalities and landscape professionals to design stormwater practices, and 2) facilitating a relationship between HOAs and landscape contractors that will make green infrastructure a standard way of thinking about stormwater management.
The workshops will be held in Columbia, PA in collaboration with the Center for Water Quality Excellence in fall 2022.