Public Outreach and Stewardship Program

FoCJC, in collaboration with four local community groups (the West Bradley Citizens Association, the Cabin John Citizens Association, Cabin John Gardens Cooperative, and the Riverhill Homeowners Association) and the Potomac District of the Boy Scouts of America, has received a two-year grant for $42,000 from Montgomery County for a program to help reduce stormwater runoff in the Cabin John Creek watershed. The watershed extends from Rockville, MD, to the Potomac River, loosely following the north-south route of Seven Locks Road, with tributary branches emptying into the creek from the east and west. Reducing stormwater runoff will improve water quality in Cabin John Creek and contribute to county and state efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. It will also reduce or stop flooding of yards and homes in the watershed. The competitive grant program is part of a public-private partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) and the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP), and funding is provided through the Montgomery County Water Quality Protection Fund.

The Public Outreach and Stewardship program's overall goal is to improve community awareness about the negative impacts of stormwater run-off into the Cabin John Creek watershed and to publicize and implement mitigation strategies. It has four primary components:

  1. FoCJC will be conducting an online and mail Stormwater Issue Awareness Survey in the four participating communities about the need and methods for watershed protection and restoration. Survey results will be used to inform a public education campaign to motivate CJC watershed residents to do one thing on their property to help the creek.
  2. FoCJC's Rain Barrel Project seeks to educate local Boy Scout troops about stormwater threats to Cabin John Creek, and involve them in efforts to combat the threats by installing residential rain barrels. Specifically, FoCJC will be recruiting BSA troops that are located near the creek, educating them about the need for and benefits of rain barrels, and helping them launch neighborhood-based campaigns to identify interested households and install rain barrels for them. The goal is to have scouts install 50 rain barrels in the Cabin John watershed by April 1, 2017. Cost of the rain barrels will be partially subsidized by FoCJC.
  3. FoCJC will be overseeing the formation and management of a group of volunteer stewards along the Booze Creek tributary of Cabin John Creek. Booze Creek was recently restored by the county and we are looking for residents of close-by neighborhoods interested in forming a Cabin John Creek Keepers group that meets quarterly for such stewardship activities as removing debris from live stake plantings; removing aluminum tags, wire, flagging, tape, and/or bamboo stakes on the main stem of trees; removing trash; removing cages, stakes, rebar, and polyethylene guards from outgrowing or dead trees and shrubs; and removing invasive species.
  4. FoCJC will be assisting community residents implement RainScapes Projects, installing functional landscaping that can beautify property, as well as help filter and slow the flow of stormwater. We will be promoting rain gardens to collect water from roof gutters, driveways, and sidewalks. Rain gardens are saucer-shaped basins into which rainwater flows, and are planted with grasses, flowers, shrubs, and small trees that are adapted to survive in short periods of flooding as well as dry soils in between storms. They soak up water, while also providing wildlife habitat, and are common around homes and townhomes. RainScapes can be installed on any kind of property, but those on private residential, institutional, and/ or commercial properties may be eligible for a RainScapes Rewards Rebate.

If you are interested in having the Boy Scouts install a rain barrel at your home, or having your Boy Scout troop get involved, please contact Tina Rouse (tina@cabinjohncreek.org).