At a Glance
Green infrastructure helps revitalize a riverfront town and reconnect its residents to nature.
As recently as 2010, the small, pastoral town of Wardensville, WV, located 100 miles west of Washington, DC., had a population of only 271 people. Today, however, it is experiencing a surge of growth, as DC residents seeking a less hectic lifestyle are beginning to move to Wardensville and open up businesses. Many are drawn to the town’s location along the Cacapon River, a popular waterway for recreational boating and fishing. But Wardensville’s proximity to the Cacapon River has created challenges. The town has experienced frequent flooding and incidents of polluted stormwater flowing directly into the river. Public access to the river from within Wardensville is also limited.
Fortunately, town leaders, in partnership with the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust, recognize the opportunity to revitalize the town’s Main Street while improving stormwater management and maximizing the recreational and economic potential of Wardensville’s riverfront location. With funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Technical Services Grant and cooperative assistance from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, the group sought help from Biohabitats to assess green infrastructure opportunities and implement a pilot project.
After evaluating conditions along the Cacapon River and Main Street, the Biohabitats team identified and prioritized multiple green infrastructure opportunities, such as a biorention facility at the Town Hall, a wetland treatment system to eliminate agricultural runoff and flooding, and a river access project on the town’s sewage lagoon property. Biohabitats will provide designs for each of these projects and will help the Town raise money and pursue grants to support their implementation.