CENTREVILLE -- The Queen Anne's County Board of Education is looking to help improve the water quality of the Corsica River by creating two water gardens this summer.
“We are very interested in doing rain gardens around the county,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Williamson. “We have something that we started at Centreville Middle School, and now we have decided to put something in front of the Board of Education,”
John Scarborough, chief of engineering for the Department of Public Works, is responsible for Stormwater management in the county and spoke to the board about his vision for future rain garden.
His design will take the shape of the county and will include two walking paths which will represent Routes 301 and 50 and the plants planted will represent each school in the school system. The rain garden is expected to fill a third to half of the entrance to the Board of Education building.
A second rain garden will also be built at the Centreville Elementary School (CES).
Scarborough said there is no theme for the school's garden and it will be placed to the west of the traffic circle.
The two water gardens will help to absorb pollutants from stormwater from the school's parking lots from going into the Corsica River, Scarborough said.
According to Scarborough, Stormwater run-off from the parking lots or buildings will run onto a grass buffer strip and into the rain garden. The grass buffer will slow down the velocity of the water to reduce the potential for washout or erosion of the soil.
Both projects will receive credit toward the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Program, and will be completely paid for through a federal grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment, he said.
The Department of Public Works or a contractor working for the department will be responsible for maintaining the gardens. But volunteers from the schools or parents to participate with the initial planning or maintenance will be welcomed, Scarborough said.
According to Scarborough, the board of education received bids ranging from about $17,000 to $18,000 for the rain garden at the board of education building and will be requesting bids for the CES project until May 16.
Construction will begin in June, after the school year and will take about 30 to 40 to construct the two gardens.