Over the course of two years, residents of Cumberland Hills neighborhood watched trucks and heavy equipment coming and going behind their houses through Veterans Park. The work being done was to correct Lexington’s failing sanitary sewer system. Although this is the largest environmental improvement to date, construction activities compacted soils and produced an impermeable ribbon through the landscape. Where stormwater could not soak into the soil, it sat on the surface, creating stagnant water and mosquito habitat.
EcoGro teamed with the Cumberland Hills Neighborhood Association and was awarded a city stormwater grant. Additional funds were contributed by City Council District Representative Kathy Plomin. The project involved repairing the soil profile by opening up 0.75 acres of tough soil with an excavator and working compost into the loose backfill. As a result, the soil can now absorb stormwater and provide drastically better growing conditions. Over 125 trees were planted by neighborhood volunteers into a 0.5 acres food forest. Native grasses and wildflowers were planted on 0.25 acres along a new park trail. Infiltration ports were monitored by the citizen scientists to evaluate performance of the soil work. Future results may give insight to the effects of turf, prairie and forests on soil permeability and plant growth.
This project was funded in part by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Water Quality Management Fee and the Stormwater Quality Projects Incentive Grant Program.