What's the Status

Since our last public forum in early June, we have been pursuing both small and large-scale projects. In the Allens Creekshed, 3 new rain gardens have been planted and 7 more are being designed for next spring. This brings the Planting plan for typical rain garden with interactive links to plants and photostotal in Allen's Creekshed to 29 gardens.

To assist future rain gardeners with the process, we are also developing a web page that includes virtual tours of those gardens already installed: design specifications, planting plans and details of each species used. The intent is to create a resource for do-it-yourselfers planning a new garden: size requirements, tips, useful plants, flowering patterns, colors, etc.

Together with detailed instruction manuals also available online, this site should improve accessibility to this evolving landscape alternative. Click on the image to the right for a glimpse of the new site. (The photos of the garden are active, but not the individual plants. Stay tuned.)

As a direct result of our last meeting at Burns Park Elementary School, a rain barrel distribution event has been organized by the Huron River Watershed Council. That order for 700 barrels has been completely sold out in advance of the September 9th distribution date. Since the offer was available to all, its difficult to say how many will be installed in Allens Creekshed.

Homeowners can now qualify for a stormwater rate reduction on their water bill. Rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, as well as participation in the RiverSafe Home program all qualify for credit. Each step makes a difference.

Besides these individual actions, the Initiative has continued to pursue large-scale projects to treat stormwater. We previously presented alternatives for City Parks (West and Vets), 415 W Washington and the City yard at North Main. We also discussed a relief drain. It has always been our intention to present several more potential project locations. Obviously this process is taking longer than expected.

We have pursued collaborations with both the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Public Schools. Each of these institutions owns multiple parcels within the creekshed that could be targeted for stormwater detention. At this point, there appears to be several high priority locations. However, discussions are proceeding within a larger collaborative framework than this Stormwater Initiative. As such, we are as yet unable to schedule a public discussion. We hope to have more information shortly.

On another front, the City has committed to incorporate storm water detention and/or infiltration into road reconstruction projects whenever practical. Stormwater treatment for City road projects will be planned on a case-by-case basis.

Lastly, during this planning process, it is helpful to remember that data continues to be collected that will ultimately prove invaluable. Since late April, 13 individual gauges have been recording flow throughout the City. Seven are located in the Allen's Creekshed. For those of you interested in the raw data, see the links below. The complete data set, including weather, can be ordered via email sheehanh@ewashtenaw.org. It is too large to be downloaded.

Thank you for your interest in the Allen's Creek Stormwater Initiative.

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