A stormwater BMP or series of practices installed on a residential property.

Example projects include: rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, vegetated roofs, conservation landscaping, tree planting, downspout disconnection, soil amendments, and other residential projects. Total investment in a residential BMP should generally be less than $5,000. BMPs installed by homeowners, contractors or watershed groups are eligible (the designer and installer should be identified in the application).

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

  • Effectively treats a substantial portion of runoff from the property
  • Provides aesthetic improvements to property
  • Involves simple maintenance tasks to upkeep
  • Includes unique or creative design features to promote effective practice function
  • Provides additional non-stormwater benefits (i.e., less basement flooding, reduced heating and cool costs, attracts wildlife etc.)

Applications to this category should describe how the residential BMP meets any of the relevant criteria above.

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

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

First Place

Ormbsy Rain Garden

Orsmby Rain Garden during construction

Project Team:
Edward Ormsby
The Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District

Ormsby Rain Garden Presentation

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

Size (1 MB) | File type (.pdf) | Download

Mr. Ormsby installed a rain garden on his residential property to help control large volumes of stormwater runoff that were flowing over his property and causing erosion. In order to install the garden, all of the turf grass was removed from the front yard and replaced with an 84 ft2 rain garden and surrounding conservation landscaping. The rain garden captures runoff from the Ormbsy rooftop as well as runoff from neighboring properties. Since installation of the rain garden, several severe storms have demonstrated that the erosion issues have been mitigated and runoff has been reduced. An overflow system was incorporated into the design but has never been used because the rain garden drains so well. Further, due to the elimination of turf, the project has reduced the irrigation and mowing maintenance needed on the property and also reduced runoff pollution from grass fertilizer. This DIY project cost about $3,500 for materials. The project includes several aesthetic and creative functional features. In addition to treating runoff from homeowner’s property, the project also helps to solve an erosion problem and also treats additional off-site runoff. The DIY aspect of this project is inspiring, and the low-budget cost makes this feasible for replication at other residential properties. In fact, the property owner is a homebuilder who plans to use his project to encourage the installation of rain gardens for other properties on which he builds homes.

To learn more about this year’s winners, visit the project folder on our google drive here.


Second Place

READY Rain Garden and Conservation Landscape Series

READY Rain Garden Project post installation

Project Team:
Jim Caldwell, Stormwater Manager and Acting Director, Office of Community Sustainability, Howard County Government
Cynthia Marshall, Lead Organizer, People Acting Together in Howard (PATH)
Al Todd, Executive Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Regina Mitchell, HOA President, Deering Woods Condominium Association
John McCoy, Watershed Manager, Columbia Association
Sabrina Fu, Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy
Donald Tsusaki, Project Manager, READY
Lori Lilly, Operations Manager, READY
Alison Santori, Design Coordinator, READY
READY Team

At the Deering Woods neighborhood, a project was installed involving a series of conservation landscapes, three rain gardens and interconnecting rock channels.  The garden treats approximately 25 townhome units with a total drainage area of approximately 1.84 acres that is 27.5% impervious.  The total labor and material costs to install this garden was ~$9,700, or $387 per unit.  The garden was installed by the Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) program, which is a Howard County funded program that employs young adults, aged 16-26, to build rain gardens and assist with additional BMP implementation throughout the County.  This project is unique since it was implemented at a multi-family residential property.  While these properties house numerous residents in the Bay Watershed, they are often overlooked for retrofit due to challenges with property ownership.  In addition to providing stormwater management, this project creates a functional human space through the use of rock channels and stepping stones within the practice.   Further, there is a large educational aspect of this project, extending not only to the residents, but also the young adults involved in the READY program.

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


Third Place

Our review committee could not decide between two projects for third place so there was a tie! Please see below for both third place winners.

Hickey Run Hero for a Cleaner Anacostia

Hickey Run Hero: Garden Party Crew

 Project Team:
Jamie Harper, homeowner and local Hickey Run Hero
Sarah Davidson and Jamie Alberti, The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Kevin Jeffery and Andrew Oetman, District Department of the Environment, RiverSmart Homes Program
DC Greenworks (rain barrel supplier/installer)
Mike Walters, First Impression Hardscapes (pervious pavement contractor)

This project, located in NE DC, involved conversion of a small impervious patio to pervious pavers and addition of two 132 gallon rain barrels. This project presents a low-maintenance residential retrofit alternative to a rain garden design. Many Bay residents are not gardeners and may be adverse to additional landscaping burdens (perceived or not) generated by a rain garden. This project demonstrates how stormwater can still be managed in a small, low-maintenance, and functional residential space. Further, this project had a strong community outreach component. A garden party was hosted at the site to showcase the project, to spread awareness about stormwater, and to help establish confidence for the use of LID projects on other residential homes.

West Side Residence

West Side Residence Project: 'Dry Creek Bed' after a storm
West Side Residence Project: ‘Dry Creek Bed’ after a storm

 Project Team:
Marianne Korchak & Kathy Macri, homeowners
Melissa Enoch, Sustainable Development Planner for The City of Binghamton
Nick Edwards, NJE Tree & Landscaping

This project involved impervious removal and installation of permeable pavement and a dry creek bed to treat property runoff and substantially improve curb appeal of a single-family home located in a historic neighborhood in Binghamton, NY. The project design mimics a more conventional yard layout but integrates effective stormwater management features, making this an attractive option for homeowners who prefer more traditionally landscaped properties.

To learn more about this year’s 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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