Cal Mutti, BCT Volunteer, has served as Land Steward of several properties in his neighborhood near Blueberry Pond. When he reported a drainage problem that was causing cascades of road run off to spill into the pond, it was clearly a problem that BCT would need help solving. BCT decided to reach out to a number of abutters around the pond and a coalition of stakeholders was formed. The group worked together to help solve the run off problem and make improvements by collaborating on the design and construction of a storm water management system. The projects’ goal was to prevent further water quality degradation in the pond.
Blueberry Pond is classified as an impaired pond and reducing storm water runoff is one good way to help improve the pond’s water quality. Contributing to this problem is that the storm water from the adjacent road and neighboring properties drains across the BCT property and directly into the pond. The new storm water management system consists of a catchment and rain garden facility that will help to capture runoff and infiltrate it into the ground, limiting the direct discharge to the pond.
In addition, a number of homeowners on North Pond Drive agreed to invest in practices on their property to capture runoff that currently drains to the pond thus reducing the amount of water pouring in to the treatment facility. The Town of Brewster has increased street sweeping activities in the Blueberry Pond watershed to collect and remove phosphorus laden sediments that would otherwise be transported to the treatment facility. To help keep costs down, neighborhood volunteers will plant the shrubs that are needed around the catchment area and be responsible for mowing and maintenance.
The Brewster Ponds Coalition will use the Blueberry Pond experience to demonstrate storm water management to other pond-front neighborhoods. They are producing a video that shows the construction of the catchment. The video also documents individual homeowners as they consider what options to use on their own property to manage storm water and reduce the volume flowing down the street.
Cal reflected on the results:
“…rains fell gently and steadily in the neighborhood, producing a rushing stream of storm water that cascaded down North Pond Drive, providing the inaugural test of the newly installed storm water catchment system…”
“Our beloved Blueberry Pond [is] a natural treasure longing to be made whole and pristine again. The frogs, fish, and ducks are all clapping their wings, gills, and legs. Congratulations on an amazing collaborative effort that will bless this trusted gift of land and water for centuries.
“Perhaps best of all is how this effort is testimony to what can be accomplished when many different groups come together in common cause to effect real solutions to large problems.”
Funding for this project was provided by the Brewster Conservation Trust, the Save Blueberry and Sols Ponds Coalition (representing the homeowners on the neighborhood), and Ocean Edge (which has a clubhouse on Blueberry Pond). Thanks to Engineer John O’Reilly for working with property owners to create a storm water management system that will reduce run off.
Partnership in Action! (Brewster Conservation Trust, Ocean Edge, The Save Blueberry and Sol’s Pond Coalition, The Brewster Ponds Coalition)
You can read more about BCT community projects in our Spring 2017 Newsletter.