The Summit Terrace Green Neighborhood is a lower-cost yet highly effective project that succeeds in treating a large amount of stormwater while also creating a valued public amenity in an underutilized urban space. This project stood out for the project team’s engagement with the local community and ability to develop a design that met their needs while providing substantial stormwater treatment. Capital Region Water identified the project as part of their Community Greening Plan. Following a series of community workshops, in addition to new inlets, improved drainage and a series of rain gardens, the final design also included all of the communities requested amenities – landscaping, seat walls, large planters with space provided for community-led plantings, fencing, trees, decorative grates, new sidewalks, and a flexible open lawn space for the Neighborhood Association to host events. Notably, Capital Region Water is providing long-term maintenance of the site and added amenities, which will help better ensure success and viability of the project. This project is a strong example of cost-effective green infrastructure that benefits communities and can be replicated in other urban areas throughout the bay.
The series of gardens and rain gardens showcase native plants of the region in a complete landscape – trees/shrubs/perennials/ grasses/groundcovers – promoting biodiversity by mimicking our Eastern Forests with trees like the Eastern Redbud. The shrubs, perennials, grasses and groundcovers provide seasonal interest while stabilizing waterways and giving paths for rainwater infiltration. As neighbors wanted to add their gardening creativity annually, the team even left room for them to elaborate the gardens with seasonal favorites.