Hinesburg Garage stormwater treatment is a great example of what towns can do

Beecher Hill Brook is located immediately adjacent to the garage building. Photo contributed.

Upon discovering the Hinesburg Garage was planning on completing a site redevelopment to upgrade facilities for both the town garage and Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) Drop-Off Center, Lewis Creek Association (LCA) jumped on the opportunity to improve water quality. The property is adjacent to Beecher Hill Brook, which is a tributary to the LaPlatte River that flows through Hinesburg and Charlotte, then eventually drains into Shelburne Bay. Beecher Hill Brook has incised and is disconnected from its historic floodplain, meaning it will likely be unstable during floods. Runoff from the existing buildings, parking lot, driveway and some portions of the gravel pit flows untreated directly into Beecher Hill Brook. The redevelopment of the property presents a unique opportunity to reduce storm-water runoff, improve water quality and increase flood resiliency.

Thanks to funding from the Ecosystem Restoration Program, which is part of the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, a 100-percent storm-water treatment design was completed this fall, along with an operation and maintenance plan and an implementation plan for the site.

This site is now part of LCA’s Ahead of the Storm program, which identifies sites where optimal conservation practices can be implemented to enhance water quality. These sites range from residential to agricultural to municipal land uses and provide an opportunity for public education in addition to improving water quality. Two optimal conservation practices were identified by the engineers at Milone & MacBroom, Inc. to treat runoff from impervious surfaces, including driveways, parking lots and buildings. This project has provided the site redevelopment with storm-water treatment and river corridor protection and includes reconnecting to the historic floodplain, slowing runoff, capturing sediment and pollutants, reducing erosion and enhancing vegetation. The project will begin to reverse the impacts from historic stream alteration and river corridor encroachment that have impacted Beecher Hill Brook.

Thanks to LCA’s partnership with the Town of Hinesburg and its highway department, this project demonstrates optimal storm-water design and green infrastructure and can act as an example to other municipalities in the state, demonstrating how they could manage their public works or drop-off stations.

LCA received a second grant from the Ecosystem Restoration Program to further restore the Beecher Hill Brook floodplain, which is being designed currently.