River Hill Community Association Special Watershed Committee Charter
The River Hill Community Association (RHCA) Board of Directors has chartered a special committee of interested residents to enhance the well-being of the community by addressing issues relating to storm water runoff, erosion and watershed quality in and near the Village. Special Committees are authorized under Article 3 of the RHCA Articles of Incorporation and Article 3 of the RHCA By-Laws.
The committee will develop positions and communications, advise the Board and if requested, represent the Board, and produce document(s) summarizing requirements for improving watershed quality, reducing storm water runoff and encouraging good stewardship and enjoyment of the outdoors in and around our homes, common areas and adjacent Middle Patuxent Environmental Area to reduce our damage to the land and watershed of Village of River Hill.
The committee will be called the River Hill Watershed Committee. It will include membership by one or more board members who will be responsible for liaison to the Board, and to the county if needed. The board member(s) on the committee will also have responsibility in the committee’s initial organization and timelines, necessary to achieve their goals and fulfill their responsibilities as defined below.
Howard County and Columbia as well as local residents are increasingly concerned about storm water runoff, erosion and the resulting harm to water quality. When storm water rushes over impervious surfaces, it carries oil from roads, pesticides and fertilizers, animal waste, topsoil and other substances into our streams, rivers and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Climate change is also bringing stronger storms and fast, rushing water. Federal, state and local governments are taking steps to slow the flow of storm water by reducing the amount of impervious surfaces in our communities.
The Watershed Committee formed to help raise community awareness about storm water runoff and to develop and promote measures that will help the environment and ecology of the local land and watershed. Members also share a desire to encourage the enjoyment of the outdoors. We hope that children and adults will take greater advantage of the paths, trails, open spaces and adjacent Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. When people feel a connection to the land and streams, forests and trails, and become more aware of our impact on the land, good stewardship will follow.
- Enhance public awareness of watershed problems. For example, we want to educate the community about pesticide and fertilizer regulations so they will make sure these substances don’t end up in our streams and eventually the Bay. We would like to raise awareness about the benefits of reducing the amount of land devoted to monoculture lawns, which require abundant watering, pesticides and fertilizer for maintenance. We would like to educate the community about rain gardens, rain barrels, the use of native plants in yards, the reuse of leaves for mulch and compost and other measure that will improve the environment and slow storm water runoff and erosion.
- Recommend projects to the River Hill Village Board that could enhance our village while helping to slow storm water runoff. These projects could take advantage of Columbia Association’s Slow the Flow program, which has a grant from Maryland Department of Natural Resources to pay 75 percent of installation costs and a landscape firm on contract for installations.
- Review current RAC regulations to see whether rules need to be added or deleted in order to mitigate storm water runoff and resulting erosion and contamination of waterways.
- Publish environmental tips for residents in the River Hill village newsletter.
- Encourage feedback from residents about watershed and environmental issues.
- Other goals as needed.
Approved: December 10, 2012