Mother Nature wants to work -- the community of Galesville gives her a hand

Written by Tom Zolper, CBF Media/Communications Coordinator, Maryland

It's time to put nature back to work. She wants to work. She's extremely skilled and productive. The forests, wetlands, native grasses and other natural areas around the Chesapeake Bay watershed are adept at slowing and filtering water running off the landscape, to mention only one talent. But we keep cutting nature back "� to our detriment. 

Galesville Image #1 - Before So it was gratifying to see what happened in the little community of Galesville in southern Anne Arundel County in Maryland. Nature got her job back, and some statewide recognition to boot.

Galesville Park is a small, public waterfront park in the village. For years the shoreline of the park had been eroding. Also, stormwater from a Galesville Image #1 - Afterparking lot and nearby street had been washing into the Bay. Local residents working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), and a host of other partners, decided to create a "living shoreline" at the park. See the "before" and "after" photos on the left.

Living shorelines are waterfront areas Galesville Image #2 - Beforerestored to something like their original natural state. In the case of Galesville Park volunteers planted 6,000 native grasses and shrubs. A stone sill also was installed to further prevent erosion. Now when storms hit the beach in Galesville, erosion is minimal and rain washing off the hard surfaces nearby is trapped and filtered. Nature back at work. Living shorelines Galesville Image #2 - Afterare proven, effective alternatives to abutments and other hard shorelines protection measures that ultimately fail and often do nothing to slow stormwater pollution.

CBF has worked on various living shoreline projects around the Bay, and in Maryland CBF offers an annual workshop so homeowners and others can learn how to install their own.

The Galesville project, however, earned special recognition. The Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) recognized the project for "outstanding service to the field of parks and resource conservation."  MRPA presented its 2010 Park and Resource Conservation Branch Service Award to CBF and its partners at a ceremony in Ocean City on April 14. 

CBF will offer its annual workshop about living shorelines in June. Please contact Katie Willis at hotcinfo@cbf.org or 410/543.1999.

Kim Ethridge

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