The Town of Ashland gratefully accepted a $200,000 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant Tuesday morning to help with stream restoration and the replacement of a currently deteriorating impervious area with a new parking lot made from permeable pavers at our police department. Of the 45 grant recipients within the Chesapeake Bay area, Ashland was selected to host this morning's press conference announcing the awards.
The police department parking lot has long been in need of improvements. One of several needed changes has been a way to manage stormwater, which currently creates pollution, erosion and sedimentation problems as it flows directly into the adjacent Mechumps Creek.
After significant analysis and research, the Ashland Town Council worked with town staff and consultants to develop a solution that is consistent with the Town’s dedication to environmentally, socially and economically sustainable projects and practices. With help from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grant, the Town will be replacing the existing parking lot at the police department with a permeable lot similar to the successful projects at the Municipal Parking Lot and College Park. The project will also include continuing and enhanced stream restoration of Mechumps Creek.
As the town has done on previous projects, the new lot will have a stone reservoir beneath the pavers to store and detain stormwater that will reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollutants in the creek and the Bay. Restorations along 210 linear feet of Mechumps Creek will slow stream flows and improve erosion and sedimentation problems downstream, enhancing the performance of restored areas downstream.
Because of what the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) called an “exemplary project”, Ashland was the site of Tuesday morning’s press conference to announce the recipients of $9.8 million in grants for restoration, conservation and environmental outreach initiatives across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Officials and guests welcomed to the Center of the Universe included senior representatives from the Chesapeake Bay Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Associated Press and other government leaders, grant recipients, and news media.
Remaining funds needed for Ashland’s project will be provided through a separate Stormwater Local Assistance Fund grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality awarded previously.