The University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension office in Camden County received recognition from Georgia Trend and the UGA Public Service and Outreach Division with a 2021 Four for the Future Award. This award recognizes their partnership with Camden County Public Works for the outstanding community collaboration, leadership, and innovation through the Camden County Coastal Green Infrastructure Implementation.
Jessica Warren, County Extension Coordinator, sought funding to install a small bioretention cell in front of the Extension Office in Woodbine. This cell keeps the office dry during periods of heavy rains as well as serve as a demonstration project for residents or businesses with flooding issues. Bioretention cells are landscaped depressions designed and sized to capture and hold stormwater runoff from surfaces that don’t absorb water (impervious surfaces). They use water and drought tolerant native plants and layers of soil and rock, filtering the stormwater until it gradually joins with groundwater.
“I am thankful for this chance to work with many of our valuable partners to create this cell at our office,” said County Extension Coordinator Jessica Warren. “We are proud to highlight green infrastructure and use it is a teaching tool for others in our community."
Last summer, staff from Camden County Public Works assisted with the creation of the 262-square-foot bioretention system. Projections indicate that the system will manage more than 14,000 gallons of stormwater yearly. The $3,000 project utilized funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and technical assistance from Jessica Brown, a stormwater specialist with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant in Brunswick and UGA students studying biochemical engineering, designed and oversaw installation of the bioretention cell.
“We are continuing to see successes from this program,” said Deputy County Administrator Shawn Boatright. “It has been a wonderful opportunity for our Public Works Department to partner with the UGA Extension office to work on best practices for green infrastructure and stormwater runoff.”
Chairman Gary Blount, Commissioner Lannie Brant, Commissioner Trevor Readdick, County Extension Coordinator Jessica Warren, Vice-Chair Ben Casey, and Commissioner Chuck Clark