Proposal to Convert Detention Basin to Community & Other Gardens

The Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to convert the detention basin off Honeyman Road into a more useful community facility, including the possibility of community vegetable gardens, a small plant nursery, native wildflower plantings, and possibly a small pond. The Board of Trustees would like your input.


Current thinking about detention basins has changed almost 180° from the time that our basin was constructed in the late 1990s. Its original purpose was to carry off as much water as quickly as possible from the storm sewers in the neighborhood, into concrete channels so as to prevent flooding and erosion. However, it is now recognized that this approach is causing serious problems by reducing water recharge of the aquifers, carrying toxic substances from the roads and lawn herbicides and pesticides into the rivers, and interfering with the natural cycle of moisture and plant regeneration.

Following its transfer to the neighborhood by the Master Association, we briefly continued their practice of mowing the detention basin, a cost added to our common-area landscaping.

However, over the past year the Board has begun introducing more natural practices to our landscaping in order to reduce costs, limit the use of toxic chemicals and artificial fertilizers, and explore the use of sustainable and regenerative landscape practices in the community. The conversion of the detention basin is an additional step in this direction.

The proposal is to turn over the operation of the basin to the natural landscaping team of Jan Graff of Big Old Trees and Wanda Knapik of My Local Garden, at no cost to the Association. Jan and Wanda have been working with the Board over the past year to help us with our green initiatives. They would make deer-fenced plots available to any interested homeowner at a minimal cost; and would be free to use the rest of the area for any purposes consistent with the neighborhood character, e.g., a small nursery, educational or afterschool programs, community composting, permaculture workshops, etc.

Take the survey here: Please complete the survey before February 11, 2011. Thanks

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