Stormwater runoff from a 100-acre area in Columbia Heights drains into LaBelle Pond, the centerpiece of LaBelle Park. Until recently, the runoff flowed into the pond untreated, carrying a variety of pollution with it. As part of a larger park improvement project, the MWMO provided funding to stabilize the shoreline of LaBelle Pond, planting it with native vegetation that will filter some of the stormwater before it enters the pond and provide habitat for area wildlife.
The MWMO also funded the design and installation of two bioretention basins (i.e., raingardens), which capture and treat runoff from the park’s parking lots and a nearby street before it enters the pond. Initial estimates project that the basins will remove 66 percent of the total phosphorus and 90 percent of the total suspended solids (i.e. sediment) from the runoff they capture.