Case Study:

Plymouth Creek Restoration Project

A multi-partner demonstration of how using stormwater best management practices can help with flood control, water quality improvement and aesthetic enhancements.

 An eight-acre drainage basin manages runoff from six square miles of parking lot and road adjacent to a large open air shopping center before it passes into Plymouth Creek (and into the Schuylkill River a few miles downstream). This collaborative effort--which included the PA DEP, Montgomery County Conservation District, the owner of the shopping center, and the TreeVitalize program--pooled human and financial resources in a basin retrofit, resulting in better flood control, water quality, and a basin in a more naturalized state. "  "One of the Commonwealth’s most impervious corridors surrounds Plymouth Creek in Montgomery County’s Plymouth Meeting. Adjacent to the Metroplex, the region’s largest open air shopping center, an eight acre drainage basin receives runoff from six square miles of parking lot and road before it passes into Plymouth Creek (which feeds into the Schuylkill River a few miles downstream). Although technically in compliance with regulatory requirements, the basin had the tendency to flood during peak storm events. Stormwater best management practices (BMP’s).

PA DEP employee Dominic Rocco often drove along Route 476 and saw the site under many different conditions. He realized that not only was it ripe for a retrofit, but thought it could become a highly visible demonstration of what stormwater best management practices could accomplish in terms of flood control, water quality improvement, and aesthetic enhancement. A conversation with the Montgomery County Conservation District led to a collaborative effort that included the local CCD, Rocco’s agency, the owner of the Metroplex Shopping Center, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s TreeVitalize program.

“Everyone is a stakeholder in this. It affects residents in these townships, people who use the bike path along the creek, everyone who drives the Blue Route – it’s a real community project.”

-Dominic Rocco, Department of Environmental Protection

 Montgomery County Conservation District undertook a careful site investigation and drafted a site plan with the assistance of a landscape architect firm. Phase I of the project, which was completed in fall 2007, sought to stabilize and revegetate the basin by planting some 400 trees and shrubs and installing more than 1,700 plugs of herbaceous plants. Phase I tasks were accomplished with the help of dozens of volunteers—from state employees and conservation minded citizens to staff of the property owner and students from local area schools. Phase II, scheduled for Spring 2009, will involve adding two additional sediment forebays, converting a meadow, and installing live stakes for channel protection.

 In addition to reducing flooding, stabilizing stream banks, and filtering pollutants before they enter Plymouth Creek, the Metroplex restoration project showcases best management practices in action.

“I hope that other developers see the improvement of this approach over traditional stormwater management methods, as well as the aesthetic benefits and lower maintenance costs. It’s important for people to see that these BMP’s can actually be implemented and are not just something you see in a manual.”

-Susan Harris, Montgomery County Conservation District

Find more information about the Plymouth Creek Restoration Project via the Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative.


Share this Mobile-Friendly Video:

Want to spread the ideas from this video? Here is a mobile-ready version of the video page! Share the video directly via newsletters and social media. Use the QR Code on signs, print newsletters, or brochures to educate even more people. Learn more about how you can use QR Codes through our QR Code Guide.

Share the Mobile Link:

Share the QR Code:

(click for full-size image)