McConnell Springs Wetland
The dual purpose of the McConnell Springs Stormwater Quality Wetland Pond project is to reduce non-point source (NPS) pollution in McConnell Springs while also providing demonstration to the public of the benefits of natural environments that provide water quality and quantity control. The site was an existing area of vacant bottomland containing 0.8 acres of jurisdictional wetland degraded by NPS pollution and large debris draining off of heavily industrial, commercial, and residential areas which surround the site. The site is located within the McConnell Springs Park, owned and maintained by Lexington-Fayette County Government (LFUCG). McConnell Springs is an urban nature preserve and a nationally-registered historic site. The area has significant karst features, and ultimately drains to Wolf Run, a tributary to Town Branch and South Elkhorn Creek. All of these receiving systems have been identified as first priority impaired streams by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and have total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in development. LFUCG identified the degraded wetland as an opportunity to retrofit an existing surface water feature to improve water quality in the Wolf Run watershed. In addition, the site offers an excellent platform for partnership, public involvement and education. The park has an on-site education center and trail system which sees over 20,000 visitors annually. Both The Friends of McConnell Springs and The Friends of Wolf Run are non-profit organizations highly involved with protection of the site and the watershed. The CARMAN office provided comprehensive site design and engineering services associated with the project. In addition, the CARMAN office facilitated design workshops to insure community participation. Upon completion of the project, the CARMAN office also assisted the LFUCG in public outreach and educational workshops that communicated the benefits of the project for public stormwater management education.