Nontraditional and creative solutions for the management or mitigation of stormwater at a site.

Innovative BMPs will be evaluated on their ability to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Includes new or multiple design mechanisms to enhance runoff reduction and/or pollutant removal
  • Testing, monitoring, or assessment results are available to confirm the effective performance of the practice
  • Exceeds the standard state design specification for the practice if there is one or modifies an existing state design specification for enhanced BMP performance
  • Meets or exceeds the minimum stormwater sizing requirements in the jurisdiction in which it was built (for new or redevelopment projects) or demonstrates a unique retrofit solution
  • Effectively integrates stormwater management with additional non-stormwater uses or site benefits (i.e. recreational use, pedestrian access, water re-use, multi-space function)

Applications should describe how the innovative BMP meets any of the relevant criteria above.

Below you will find information about the winners of the Best Innovative BMP category of the 2015 BUBBAs.

To learn more about our winners, check out the project files on our Google Drive account here.

First Place

Strength to Love Farm II

Strength to Love Farm II: Douglas Wheeler and Kahleela Howell in one of the hoop House-Photo credit Alia Malek

Project Team:
Project Initiator and Funder: Parks & People Foundation
Funding Source: Maryland DNR’s Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund
Project Designer: Biohabitats, Inc
Project Design Development & Construction: Big City Farms

Strength to Love Farm II Presentation

A short presentation describing the first place winner of the Best Innovative BMP category for the 2015 BUBBA contest.

Size (10 MB) | File type (.pdf) | Download

This project involves the capture and re‐use of hoop‐house roof runoff at an urban‐agriculture site in Baltimore City. Four used shipping containers are used to store over 34,000 gallons of runoff that is then re‐used on‐site for crop irrigation within the hoop houses. This project demonstrates a unique and creative solution to manage runoff from an urban‐farming site. Rather than contribute additional runoff into the storm drain system, the design effectively captures and manages this runoff on‐site. The hoop houses protect the crops from rainfall, which minimizes any nutrient runoff from the crop beds. Additionally, the need for potable water input is significantly reduced. The use of shipping containers to store the runoff is a creative re‐use of a waste product. This site provides a great example of urban‐agricultural best management practices and also represents a creative and beneficial design for vacant green space. Further, this project was designed and constructed on a small budget, demonstrating a cost‐effective solution to a challenging site.

To learn more about the project that was declared this year’s first place Innovative BMP, visit the project folder on our google drive here.


Second Place

Machine in the Garden

Machine in the Garden Overall View
Machine in the Garden Overall View

Project Team:
Landscape Architecture: Kathy Poole, POOLE DESIGN, LLC
Client: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (which is part of the Smithsonian Institution)
Architects and Engineers: EwingCole
Contractor: Hensel Phelps
Civil Engineer: Alpha
Planting Contractor: Ruppert Landscape

This project integrates several different BMPs techniques to treat site runoff from the SERC Mathias Laboratory. The required design criteria were significantly exceeded to provide a more complete and sustainable ecosystem on the property. In addition, the design adds aesthetic and artistic value to the site. Creative features include capture and treatment of water from the fire protection system, and also the use of captured rooftop runoff to sustain micropool levels or irrigate system plantings during dry periods.

To learn more about our winners, check out the project files on our Google Drive account here.


Third Place

The Shops at Dakota Crossing

The Shops at Dakota Crossing Vegetative Retaining Wall

Project Team:
CIS Engineering 
Vika Capitol 
Ayers Saint Gross

This project demonstrates an effective stormwater solution for use on steep slopes and treats a large amount of runoff in a small footprint.  There was concern over whether or not this practice should be considered “proprietary” but the jury decided to consider this a local adaptation of the SmartSlope system due to the added stormwater management benefit.  The project provides an aesthetic benefit, although the use of more native plants would have been preferred.  Also, jurors would have liked to see more of the natural site topography and layout preserved, although this was not an evaluation criteria.

To learn more about our winners, check out the project files on our Google Drive account here.

Thank you to all our contestants who participate in the 2015 Best Urban BMP in the Bay Award !


We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the sponsors of the 2015 BUBBAs.
This year’s contest would not have been a possibility without you!

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