What a trip Tommy and I had this weekend on our site visit! We met with two people at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and discussed the impact of stormwater and gathered information about the Doan Brook Watershed. Th visit was very informative and we took lots of pictures; even went on a nature hike exploring the marshes and the many different types of invasive and native plants in the area.
While on our site visit, we mapped out regions of ecological foci. Forests were mapped as young, moderate, or mature, and we also took note of topography, density, soil types (for as much as we knew), and habitat. We followed the entire length of the watershed. The first area we found interesting was a parking--> slope--> basin--> wetland park. It was very interesting to note that someone was able to efficiently control stormwater in a way we learned about in class.
The next place we found interesting was an area where we found the watershed being split in two: on either side of the railroad. We found controlled, engineered concrete ditches on either side. These are not ideal because they increase stormwater flow. To help the environment, I threw some rocks in the way!
Down along the railroad, we found a stormwater management failure. Because of sedimentation and erosion, a split occurred in an engineered depression to channel the water, resulting in breakage. We noticed concrete pavers used to slow down the stormwater, but because the system was broken it was almost useless. We determined that the system was used to control stormwater away from the railway.
Finally, we visited many vacant sites. One in particular seemed to be an abandoned house left after a fire. We couldn't help but wonder what happened to the site. We saw nature already beginning to take over. The site was littered with garbage as well. We were surprised by the amount of vacant sites we found.
Overall, the visit was very successful. We would like to thank the rain for allowing us to document stormwater firsthand. We are excited to see how this analysis will play out. More information to come this week.
Brandon E. Young