The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) awarded Moraine Township the 2014 BMP (Best Management Practices) Project of the Year Award for its drainage project at Mooney Cemetery. The project was partially funded thanks to a generous grant from the Stormwater Management Commission Watershed Management Board.
“Designed to address drainage issues and replace an aging asphalt driveway in a sustainable way, the project included environmentally-sensitive components such as pervious pavers and two rain gardens,” said Anne Flanigan Bassi, Moraine Township Supervisor. “Having the installation of the rain gardens completed with volunteers saved the township significant expense and gave us all the satisfaction of working together to accomplish something lovely and worthwhile.”
“The township is being recognized for its Mooney Cemetery green infrastructure project designed for sustainability and constructed through the spirit of volunteerism and partnership,” said Mike Warner, executive director of the commission. More than 70 volunteers—from Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, YouthBuild Lake County, Highland Park/Highwood League of Women Voters, and the Park District of Highland Park,as well as neighbors of the cemetery and in one case, a volunteer whose ancestors are buried in the historic cemetery—pitched in to install and mulch 750 plants in two rain gardens.
“The township has struggled with water issues at the cemetery for years. With surfaces less than 1% in pitch, it is very difficult to get land to drain efficiently, and ponding occurs in depressions,” said landscape architect Nancy Hannick . “Permeable pavers on the driveway allow water to be absorbed below the road bed and directed via pipes to two rain gardens.”
“The results exceeded our high expectations,” Bassi observed. “Even with heavy rains during the spring of 2014, there was no ponding water at the site.”
The township is planning an open house and tour of the project next summer. Master gardeners and the landscape architect will provide instruction to the public about the benefits of natural landscaping drainage solutions.