Liberty Hollow Run
Liberty Hollow has seen flooding, stream bank erosion, and most recently a storm water pipe collapse. Development of the area above Liberty Hollow Park has occurred over the past several decades. The development has turned once wooded and then farmed permeable land into rooftops, gutters, paved driveways and impervious streets. Associated with this development is an inevitable increase in stormwater runoff, as the rainfall now has less vegetation to use or slow it from running down the hill into Liberty Hollow, the Susquehanna River and beyond. The increased runoff, as measured by volume and intensity, is a culprit in many downstream issues.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust recognizes these issues as causing degradation of the Chesapeake Bay and realizes the problems exemplified by the Borough of Northumberland are not unique. When the land was developed in decades past, removing stormwater as quickly as possible was the intended solution. Now that the cumulative effects of this degradation are clear and a direct result of past development methodologies, the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) is promoting green infrastructure through its grant program in order to start the reversal of these harmful practices. The Borough received a $30,000 grant from CBT to analyse the watershed and determine the best management practices to implement.
Green infrastructure is a term used to describe practices which serve to revert the effects of development, and allow for more natural processes to take place. Infiltration, evapotranspiration, recycling/reuse, and interception are among the practices which green infrastructure uses to achieve its purpose.
With the awarded grant, the Borough contracted with Hazen and Sawyer to conduct a study, consistent with the requirements of the grant program, to evaluate opportunities to install green infrastructure in the Liberty HollowWatershed. The study was designed to benefit the property owners, the neighborhood, the Borough’s assets (park, stream, pipes, & pool), and ultimately the water quality of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.