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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Bay View Rain Garden Initiative

The Bay View Rain Garden Initiative

The Bay View Association (BVA) of The United Methodist Church is a National Historic Landmark community founded in 1875. It is situated on 337 acres and is home to more than 30 public buildings, nearly 450 cottages and two inns. The BVA is situated directly on Little Traverse Bay. Stormwater has long been an issue in the community as evidenced by seasonal flooding of homes and eroding hillsides. In addition, a small, unnamed tributary of Little Traverse Bay, which flows through a mostly wooded section of Bay View, has severe erosion in many areas due to stormwater within the community. There was no stormwater infrastructure in BVA and all drainage was directed to US 31, the highway that separates the bulk of the community from the Bay. The Bay View section of US 31 had stormdrains that discharge stormwater, untreated, directly into the Bay.

In order to mitigate the Bay View Association’s stormwater impacts to the Little Traverse Bay and its tributary, the Little Traverse Bay Stormwater Initiative proposed to employ stormwater best management practices within the community.

The BVA Rain Garden Initiative installed 11 rain gardens throughout the community. The rain gardens intercepted and infiltrated runoff, filtered sediments, and absorbed nutrients. They also reduced BVA’s overall stormwater volume and rates. The initiative was promoted to the community’s seasonal residents to generate interest and foster greater awareness of stormwater.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, in partnership with Bay View Association, encouraged Bay View Association residents to install rain gardens to help reduce local stormwater impacts. As part of the Watershed Council’s Little Traverse Bay Stormwater Management Initiative project (supported with funding through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative), The Bay View Association Rain Garden Initiative allowed for seven residential rain gardens and four community rain gardens to be installed.

Bay View Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens Filtering Water