Wetland Project Slated for SSA Area in Baltimore

May 7, 2002
Baltimore County is beginning a $700,000 environmental program for Woodlawn that will improve the aesthetics of the area around the Social Security Administration complex and alleviate flooding and erosion. The centerpiece of the effort is the creation of a wetland adjacent to Woodlawn High School.

With the commercial development of the area, much of the ground is now paved, meaning that water runs off into streams instead of being absorbed into the soil when it rains. During periods of heavy rainfall, the creek, Dead Run, becomes overwhelmed with water, leading to erosion and poor water quality downstream, said D. Scott Pelton, president of the Gwynns Falls Watershed Association.

The wetlands will absorb runoff and filter it before it goes into the streams and, eventually, into the Chesapeake Bay, he said.

"Anything you can do to slow down that water, it'll improve the wildlife and water quality downstream," Pelton said.

Debris will also be removed and new trees and shrubs will be planted in the area, said David A.C. Carroll, director of the county's Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.

County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger highlighted the program as an example of an environmental program that is compatible with economic development. Nearby businesses have suffered from erosion and flooding, and the aesthetic improvements will help the entire community, he said.

"People keep saying we can't have a quality environment in an urban area. We know that's wrong," Carroll said. "I was just down in the creek and saw a mother mallard swimming around with all her babies. We're going to make Dead Run live again."

Source: Baltimore Sun