At a Glance

Restoration of a severely eroded urban stream channel enhances opportunities for recreation and education while regenerating ecology, beauty, and community connectivity.

Project Description

Stony Run is a small, but ecologically and historically important stream that flows through three miles of northern Baltimore before joining the Jones Falls and ultimately Baltimore Harbor. In the early 1900s, the stream valley was home to the Maryland and Pennsylvania (‘Ma and Pa’) Railroad’s passenger and freight line. Today, it has become a lush, green corridor that connects many neighborhoods. Though some portions of the stream are buried, much of it flows visibly through City Parks, neighborhoods, and school campuses, where it has become a treasured natural, recreational, and educational resource.

Over the last century, however, Stony Run had suffered severe erosion due to stormwater and various infrastructure projects. The City has already restored the upper and middle branches of Stony Run following waste water utility improvements. Biohabitats worked with the Baltimore City Department of Public Works to address the downstream portion, which runs through Wyman Park and the campus of Johns Hopkins University.

With the goals of restoring stability, ecological function, and water quality (nutrient reduction credits), Biohabitats developed a design to restore the lower 5,000 feet of Stony Run. The design incorporated stream bank stability, riparian wetlands, utility protection, aquatic and terrestrial habitat improvement, and invasive species control. Biohabitats also developed an innovative terraced stormwater wetland by retrofitting existing and undersized storm drains. Rather than increase the size of the pipe to convey large stormflows, our design reduces the capacity of the pipe, causing the flow to bubble up more than ten feet into the terraced wetlands. This system will provide 100% of the water quality volume from more than 20 acres of existing impervious area.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province



Jones Falls

Expertise Areas

Ecological Restoration, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Baltimore City Department of Public Works


Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • RK&K
  • EBA Engineering