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New Pond Proposed for NLM Lawn

A large pond to manage stormwater runoff is proposed for the southeast lawn of the National Library of Medicine, near the Woodmont Ave. cutoff leading into Bethesda. Construction is set to begin in fall 2003.

Montgomery County officials and representatives from the Office of Research Services gave a design presentation on the proposed pond at the June meeting of the Community Liaison Council. Attendees learned about the configuration, impact and attributes of the stormwater management facility. The Stoney Creek Pond, as it is called in the memorandum of understanding between the county and NIH, will help control stormwater flows, and filter and remove contaminants from runoff originating in the downtown Bethesda business district. The pond will help manage the quantity of water that flows from buildings, roads and parking lots. These waters discharge into storm drainage piping systems and streams surrounding the NIH community that make up the Stoney Creek watershed. Water flowing too rapidly can erode stream banks and eventually cause damage to property. If the water is not properly managed, the ecosystem in the surrounding community and the Chesapeake Bay that eventually receives run-off from this area could be harmed, said ORS.

The county's department of environmental protection and NIH have therefore formed a partnership to pursue construction of the pond. The Stoney Creek Pond is being designed and constructed to be safe, aesthetically pleasing and sensitive to its environment, ORS said. "Significant strides will be made toward the county's regional stormwater management initiatives from construction of this pond that will essentially serve the Bethesda business district," said Clarence Dukes, a program manager at ORS' Office of Facilities Planning. "The NIH will also benefit from this project and be able to achieve a good percentage of its 20-year campus development and environmental goals identified in the master plan."

Funding for the initiative is provided under the Transportation Equity Act, a cost-sharing grant between Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.

The county, in coordination with the NIH Office of Community Liaison, will hold a public meeting for neighborhood residents and other parties interested in the facility. Notice of the meeting will be posted soon.

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