Date
Tuesday, September 10, 2024
Time
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location Name
M101/102
Name
Innovative Community Engagement with Interactive Mapping for Watershed Management Plans
Track
Green Infrastructure
Description

West Hickman Creek watershed is located in south central Lexington, Fayette County, and northeastern Jessamine County, Kentucky. Its watershed area is almost entirely urban within Fayette County, with more rural land uses in Jessamine County. Lexington hosts approximately 6 miles of stream length and 20 square miles of watershed while Jessamine County contains approximately 2 miles of stream and 2 square miles of watershed. LFUCG contracted Palmer Engineering to prepare the West Hickman Watershed Management Plan (WHWMP). Development of this plan began in response to citizens’ interest in the watershed and water quality. The WHWMP presents the collaborative culmination of an extensive data collection utilizing data from the LFUCG Watershed-Focused Monitoring Program and analysis effort, pollutant loading calculation, recruitment of partners and stakeholders in watershed interests, and remediation strategy development. This document is intended to address the nine minimum elements required in the EPA’s Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters (USEPA 2008). Community involvement has been vital for successful implementation to ensure that proposed BMPs align with the needs of the community. Early on in this process the community actively attended meetings to provide feedback. The final meeting before the COVID-19 shutdown in January 2020 had over 50 attendees. COVID-19 restrictions presented the challenge of virtual communication, which was addressed by public zoom meetings and innovative online survey mapping. Palmer Engineering has developed an interactive online map of all proposed BMPs. BMPs are displayed with a symbol for one of the following categories: basin retrofit, tree planting, wetland, stream restoration, sanitary sewer investigation, riparian vegetation, stream restoration/bank stabilization, green BMP, fecal matter control, bank stabilization, dam removal, riparian vegetation and bank stabilization, stream restoration/wetland and trash removal. Each project can be selected on the map to provide coordinates and more details on how the BMP will be implemented and the expected results. Now that the plan is approved by the EPA, the online map is being utilized to track project completion.