Hillsmere Community Projects

Hillsmere Shores Improvement Association, in partnership with the South River Federation and Anne Arundel Master Watershed Steward Program, has completed numerous stormwater best management practices throughout their community.

The “Original” Rain Garden
Master Watershed Stewards Kevin Green, Jennie Gundersen and Chris Moore combined forces in 2010 to build this rain garden for their Watershed Steward Capstone Project.  With funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, South River Federation, Unity Gardens, and the Hillsmere Community, two large bioretention cells were built into the existing contour of the landscape near the Hillsmere community pool.  The soil was amended to increase infiltration, check dams were installed to slow the stormwater, and volunteers planted over 1,000 plants.  All this work has sure paid off!  The rain gardens can capture and filter 160,000 gallons of stormwater at a time.   As much as 3,200 rain barrels!

Community Pool Rain Garden
With the success of the “original” rain garden, the Federation decided to install a second rain garden by the community pool.  This project is located right next to the main entrance of the community’s pool and approximately 50 yards from the original BMP complex.  Approximately 100 yards away is another rain garden that was constructed in 2014 by the Watershed Stewards Academy with support from the South River Federation.   Working up in the watershed, as this project does, stormwater from approximately four acres of suburban development is treated before making its way into existing stormwater drains.  This helps shave off peak volumes, nutrient and sediment loads, and helps to mitigate downstream flooding problems by slowly metering out flow over hours and days rather than minutes.  This project was made possible by an Anne Arundel Watershed Restoration grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and was completed in 2015.

Beach Drive Coastal Plain Outfall 
The Hillsmere Beach Drive upland coastal plain outfall is located on community property next to the community’s kayak storage racks.  The former gabion basket swale, although effective at stopping head-cutting, provided little to no water quality or habitat benefit. The Federation converted this site into a more natural coastal plain outfall that not only filters stormwater but provides enhanced habitat as well.  This project was made possible by an Anne Arundel Watershed Restoration grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and was completed in 2015.

Clean Water Communities
As part of the Watershed Stewads Academy’s Clean Water Communities program, 2 rain gardens, 7 conservation landscapes and 7 cisterns in the Duvall Creek watershed were installed.  The projects were designed to capture a minimum of 20% of the runoff from each of the 10 properties.  They reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into Duvall Creek by an estimated 201,000 gallons annually.

By concentrating the projects in a small section of the neighborhood, we are attempting to shift the “norm” within the neighborhood and encourage residents to landscape their properties with stormwater in mind.  Watershed Stewards in the neighborhood will be following up with outreach to the entire community on issues such as lawn care, pet waste and critical area responsibilities.  The South River Federation was proud to be a partner in this project!

Hillsmere Community Beach
In 2014, through funding from both the South River Federation and Unity Gardens, Hillsmere extended their existing beach side rain gardens to create a single long bioretention swale that ends in a planted marsh.