On March 17, the CEE 578 – Senior Capstone Design team presented their preliminary report on the Analysis and Design of Storm Water Erosion Mitigation for the Eagle Heights Community Gardens. A panel of four judges from industry positively evaluated their presentation and report and also gave them feedback for further improvement. Several of their college mentors and professors were present, as well as representatives from the Friends, the Gardens, and Preserve staff. The photo taken before the presentation exudes the amazing team spirit of the group and their satisfaction to have completed real-world professional work. In this project, the students gained professional experience and the Garden Community now has a design plan for solving their storm water problem.
The team of two civil and four geological engineering students addressed the flooding, runoff, and erosion problems around the compost stockpile area in the southeast corner of the gardens. They were given certain design constraints, including not impacting any of the garden plots.This large stockpile consists of fall leaves collections, garden weeds, horse manure, and lake weed, leading to problems of nutrient-rich flooding during large rain events. The runoff drains into the adjacent Bill’s Woods. The students developed three alternatives to mitigate this problem and recommended a system of three bioswales to direct rainwater around the stockpile rather than through it. In addition, a rain garden to infiltrate all the water from the drainage area was proposed that would require use of Bill's Woods land and removing trees. The solution would also require a readjustment of the existing access gravel road toward the south. Capital costs were also presented. Some of the labor for installation could possibly be provided by gardener volunteer hours. The Friends provided some financial support for materials and printing, as well as mentoring. Photos by G. Kutzbach
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors