Charlestown to add rain garden to Long Point Beach
— The town’s Green Team hopes to alleviate runoff and beautify the area through a planned rain garden at Long Point Beach to be built later this year.
The purpose of the rain garden will be to filter rainwater that comes down Conestoga Road into the Northeast River, said Janine Antoshak, a town clerk and member of the town’s Green Team.
The team is composed of members whose goal is to make the town more environmentally- friendly and become certified in the Sustainable Maryland program, Antoshak said.
Sustainable Maryland is a program for municipalities in the state that want to be more environmentally friendly, save money and sustain their quality of life, according to its website. The rain garden falls under the stormwater management section of the action plan.
Animals will use the rain garden for food and habitats through planting native plants and flowers, Antoshak said. Other goals of the project include increasing community involvement and educating residents about what goes into the water.
“Hopefully that will lead them to little things that they could do in their homes such as rain barrels, native planting and thinking about the chemicals that they put on their lawn — that kind of thing,” Antoshak said.
She said the garden will help to beautify the town as well.
The team has not decided on which types of plants and flowers that will be included yet, as they still need to take measurements of the area they’d like to use to figure out the size of the garden, among other things. Antoshak also plans to apply for a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant prior to July 1 to offset the project’s cost.
Although the project is in its infant stage, members of the team have been given positive feedback.
“I really like it,” said Renee Capano, a team member and president of the town’s Board of Commissioners.
She said the garden will help to alleviate the runoff issues after rainstorms.
Kenneth Confalone, a green team member and member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the hope is that the garden at the beach will encourage others to install gardens on their private property, as well. Confalone said the garden is low maintenance because the plants take care of themselves as they absorb water.
“The hope is that you reduce the runoff from every property,” he said.
The Green Team is also in talks to create a rain garden at Charlestown Elementary School to complement the one at Long Point Beach.
This is the slope leading from Conestoga Road to Long Point Beach, where the runoff from stormwater washes into the Northeast River.