Through a grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and with design coordination and guidance from DNREC, the Town of Greenwood expects to reduce flooding and improve its water quality in the future after implementing a restoration project at the town park and on two local industrial sites. Greenwood was awarded $35,000 by the NFWF to restore a buffer of native vegetation along 1,000 feet of the Cart Branch Tax Ditch, which drains into the headwaters of the Nanticoke River and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.
Located within the heart of the community, the restoration project will reduce stormwater runoff from the town’s Brenda Jones Parks and two large industrial buildings, owned by Penn Fibre and the James Thompson Company, and will establish more than a half-acre of new floodplain and buffer habitat. As all these are within walking distance of the Woodbridge Elementary School, the improvements also will expand outdoor educational programs for the community’s children.
In the center of two new floodplain areas runs a new low-flow channel with surrounding marsh created to manage stormwater runoff and improve water quality. Compost logs have been installed to stabilize the banks of an eroding 90-degree bend in a tax ditch, while native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plantings have been planted throughout the project area.
Greenwood is among the towns selected by NFWF to receive financial or technical assistance through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which helps local communities restore and protect water quality and vital habitats within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Greenwood was awarded grant funding by showing that it could provide in-kind technical services and funds from local partners. Major funding for the project came from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, and also included corporate sponsors. As part of the match, DNREC provided design and administrative coordination, the Sussex County Conservation District provided construction, the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service provide trees, and the Woodbridge High School Future Farmers of America chapter helped with an earlier phase planting of the trees. Most recently DNREC organized a volunteer planting of native species throughout the project site by the Peach Blossom 4-H Club.
Greenwood and other Delaware towns in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are working to implement projects that support the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan, which outlines strategies used to decrease nutrient and sediment pollution entering Delaware’s waterways. With the recent signing of the new Chesapeake Bay Agreement, Delaware and partners have recommitted to restoring the watershed. The vision of the six states and the District of Columbia that fall within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is to return to an environmentally and economically sustainable watershed with clean water, abundant life, conserved lands and access to the water, a vibrant cultural heritage, and a diversity of engaged citizens and stakeholders.