Stormwater Action Project Resources
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
The list of resources below is a companion piece to Score Four: Students, Schools, Streams, and the Bay, a set of lesson plans for educators that culminates in a Student Stormwater Action Project.
Click here for a PDF of this information
Listed below are just a few examples of the funding sources available. Many counties and large municipalities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed offer rebates or other incentives to encourage schools and students to adopt stormwater Best Management Practices on their campuses. Look for the counties’ or cities’ environmental or land-use departments for this information.
- Local civic clubs and businesses
- Garden centers and local garden clubs
- Chesapeake Bay Trust offers environmental education mini-grants several times a year
- The Home Depot Foundation Community Impact Grants
- Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. (Many teachers go directly to their local stores with success.)
- MD Department of Natural Resources, Marylanders Plant Trees provides $25-off tree coupons, vendor lists, and other information.
- Prince George’s County Department of the Environment’s Arbor Day Every Day and Clean-Up Green-Up programs provide free trees for schools to plant and maintain.
- RainScapes for Schools, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection provides funding for rain gardens, conservation landscapes, and canopy trees on Montgomery County, Md. school properties. They also offer a High School Plant Growing Program. Their applications provide easy instructions.
Conservation Landscaping or Bay-Wise Gardening
- University of Maryland Extension:
- Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Conservation Landscaping includes simple explanation and resource links
- City of Rockville, Md. provides a comprehensive list of resources for rain gardens and conservation gardens.
- Take a Pollinator to Lunch: Plant a Native Garden, a Bay Journal article on planting natives
Rain Garden Lessons and Guides
- Rain Garden Curricular Sampler, Earth Partnership for Schools, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, provide a series of campus assessments and other cross-curricular inquiries, leading to the development of a rain garden.
- Guidelines for Rain Garden, Prince George’s County, Md., provides easy sizing calculations, etc.
- Rain Garden Templates from the Low Impact Development Center make designing your garden much easier!
- The NEMO Rain Garden Website, University of Connecticut and NOAHH, gives short step-by-step how-to videos. Their free Rain Garden app for phones also provides a series of how-to videos and plant selections for your state.
- Rain Garden Design and Construction A Northern Virginia Homeowner’s Guide
- Rain Garden Manual for Schools A How-To Manual For Fayette County Public Schools
- Rainscaping with Rain Gardens…Working with Nature to Transform Stormwater Runoff into Garden Oases
School Yard Habitat and Outdoor Classrooms
- Schoolyard Habitat Guide, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: although not geared towards storm-water solutions, this site provides a downloadable 132-page guide for creating habitat areas, with good tips on the planning, maintenance, and community engagement.
- Schoolyard-Habitats How-to-Guide, National Wildlife Federation: this site includes a downloadable guide for creating habitat areas. The assessment and planning portions may provide you with ideas.
Other Green Stormwater Practices
- Stormwater Management Lesson Plans for Grades 3-12, produced by the University of Maryland, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, these on-campus lessons and hands-on inquiries cover campus assessments and green stormwater practices, such as green roofs, rain barrels, rain gardens, and permeable pavement. Teacher lesson plans are matched to NextGen & Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards standards. Background material and vocabulary lists are included.
Native Plant Research and Sources
Selecting the Right Native for Your Site:
- Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping Chesapeake Bay Watershed Guide, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. We at ICPRB use this as our number 1 resource in picking the right native plants for the right spot. A website version is also available.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center provides good supplemental information and pictures.
- Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder provides great supplemental information and pictures.
- Free Pollinator Planting Guides are available by ecoregions by the Pollinator Partnership. Learn which colors and shapes of plants will bring butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your conservation landscape.
- Plant NOVA Natives helps you find the perfect Northern Virginia native for your planting needs.
Native Plant Nurseries and Sales
- Chesapeake Natives, Upper Marlboro, Md., takes orders
- Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery sells 340 native plant species, Springfield, Va.
- Environmental Concern specializes in wetland plants, St Michaels, Md.
- Maryland Native Plant Society
- Pennsylvania Native Plant Society provides sources in Pennsylvania, as well as national suppliers.
- Virginia Native Plant Society provides a downloadable list of Virginian native plant nurseries.
- West Virginia Native Plant list provided by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
Maps for Watershed Inquiries
- Maryland Land Use Maps
- U.S. Topographic Maps
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources Stream Health Map
- National Geographic FieldScope:
Soil Lessons and Labs
- Soil Health: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): Soil Health, Soil Biology (with incredible photos of microscopic bacteria, fungi, and other soil microorganisms, that can be used with permission), and other resources, including Educator Lessons & Experiments.
- Soil Testing in Maryland: University of Maryland Extension provides detailed fact sheets on most aspects of gardening. Their soil information follows.
- Soil Testing in West Virginia: West Virginia Extension Service, West Virginia University: soil sampling instructions, video, and laboratory
- West Virginia University Soil Testing free soil sampling for WV residents
- Soil Testing in Virginia: Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory. Also see above links to local Cooperative Extension Offices.
- Soil Lessons: Stormwater Management Lesson Plans for Grades 3-12, University of Maryland, Landscape Architecture, provides research activities in which students compare the soils in green stormwater practices (such as rain gardens) with “untreated” campus soils, using percolation tests and core sampling.