Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Park up­dates to start in March

Cecil Whig - - & - By JANE BELLMYER

RIS­ING SUN

jbellmyer@ce­ci­wl­hig.com

— Work on more than $500,000 worth of im­prove­ments to drainage, ero­sion and ac­ces­si­bil­ity at Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Park is set to start in the spring.

Com­mis­sioner David War­nick said the project is ex­pected to be­gin in March and fin­ish in Oc­to­ber.

Ris­ing Sun re­ceived more than $633,000 through a grant from the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources for the project. The funds come from the DNR’s Ch­e­sa­peake and At­lantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.

Oc­toraro Water­shed As­so­ci­a­tion helped com­pile the early tech­ni­cal data needed to sup­port the project back in 2010, but since then the Center for Water­shed Pro­tec­tion and EcoTone have taken the lead, ac­cord­ing to Ru­pert Ros­setti with OWA.

“It re­ally is a part­ner­ship. We couldn’t have done it with­out them and the town,” Ros­setti said Mon­day.

The DNR grant is the type in which the work is re­im­bursed by the grant­ing agency after com­ple­tion, Ros­setti said and OWA could not pay those bills out of pocket. That’s where Ris­ing Sun stepped in, he ex­plained. The town will pay for the work, then get the money from the grant.

Stream bed restora­tion is the first phase of the project, War­nick said.

“We’ll slow the wa­ter down in the park in a ser­pen­tine pat­tern,” he said.

The un­named creek, which Ros­setti said is a trib­u­tary of Stone Run, runs through the Wil­son Av­enue park. It cre­ates swampy ar­eas and chews away at the stream bed dur­ing rain events.

In the same vein, the sec­ond and third phases will ad­dress stream in­lets out­side the park and cre­ate swales and pedes­trian cross­ings in­side.

“We’ll have a catch basin to catch the soil run­ning off the base­ball fields to they can re­claim it,” War­nick said.

Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Park is one of the low­est ly­ing ar­eas in Ris­ing Sun.

“The wa­ter that runs into the park comes from above South Queen Street and at Ris­ing Sun Towne Center,” Ros­setti said. “It also runs down Dairy Street and it all ends up at the park.”

While neigh­bor­ing farm­land also con­trib­utes, Ros­setti said there is also the de­vel­op­ment fac­tor.

“An aw­ful lot of it is (from) the rooftops and the road­ways,” he added, point­ing to the im­per­vi­ous sur­faces.

The fi­nal phase of the im­prove­ment project will add a se­ries of set ponds along the creek where wa­ter can ac­cu­mu­late and drain slowly to elim­i­nate ero­sion.

“And we’ll be adding a splash zone to the creek,” War­nick said. “It will be an area where kids can eas­ily en­ter and exit. We’re hop­ing to make it hand­i­capped ac­ces­si­ble.”

Ros­setti ex­pects to be an ea­ger spec­ta­tor dur­ing the con­struc­tion.

“I’ll be do­ing my usual watch­ing of the project as it goes and do­ing photo doc­u­men­ta­tion,” he said.

Wa­ter sam­pling would also con­tinue, Ros­setti noted.

“We did some base­line sam­pling last spring for macroin­ver­te­brates,” he said. “We’ll check along the way for im­proved wa­ter qual­ity.”

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Stormwa­ter runoff from Wil­son Av­enue, Main, Cherry and Queen streets sends sed­i­ment into the creek run­ning through Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Park in Ris­ing Sun. A $633,000 grant will fix that and other flood­ing is­sues at the park.

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