Veterans Memorial Park updates to start in March
— 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.”
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.