Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park at Back Creek Stormwater Education Experience (SEE)

Annapolis, MD

Back Creek Nature Park is the site for the Stormwater Education Experience (SEE) Project, funded by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the City of Annapolis. Annapolis Landscape Architects' partners, Shelley Rentsch and Jenny Smeltzer, worked on the SEE project from the concept and stake holders meetings through the construction phase of this outdoor living classroom.  Both conceptual and tangible site elements have been designed for interactive environmental education programs which highlight the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region. Included are interactive learning stations: a physical 100 foot buffer line indicating the protected shoreline area as designated by the Critical Area Commission; three interactive stormwater and sediment erosion sequences including water hand pumps, stone basins in colors representing gradation of polluted-to-clean water, stone runnels varying in pitch and roughness to interpret water velocity, and a trough with sand to compare resulting erosion; a variety of rain barrels demonstrating common rainwater harvesting techniques; seven types of permeable paving areas side by side for ease of comparison; misters located on permeable paving below which water will be captured and expelled through visible weep holes; demonstration storm drain and outfall to illustrate the path of drainage; solar powered roadway lighting with fixtures painted yellow; vegetated swale complete with check dams for expressing runoff conveyance; beaver pond (manmade dam) as an example of a naturally occurring check dam; recycled vehicular paving material (glassphalt) on roadways and in parking area; permeable vehicular paving to reduce disturbance to the tree root zone and allow absorption of rainfall after installation; a "yard hydrant," located on a high point of the site, to interpret overland runoff over impervious surfaces and conveyed through vegetated swales; flood marker in the tidal basin indicating the four highest recorded water levels by elevation and name of storm event; and an osprey nesting platform (to draw attention to the high water markers).

Client:   City of Annapolis
Engineer:   Bay Engineering
  • 2010 Maryland's Smart, Green and Growing Sustainable Infrastructure/Innovation in Stormwater Management Award