Conservation Through Redevelopment

The developers and designers of the Bluestem development in the Bare Hills Community have planned construction in the most environmentally-friendly way possible—upholding the health of the park is of utmost concern. That is why the developers have planned for construction to subsequently improve water purity with updated watershed properties and mitigate the effects of sewage and water pollution from old septic tanks with the installation of modern sewage systems. The Bluestem development has been meticulously and thoughtfully planned to coexist with the surrounding ecosystem as to best serve the community and the environment.

Watershed Properties are Outdated

A watershed is an area where excess water drains to a waterway. Clean watersheds benefit the community, as the accumulation of polluted water in waterways is hazardous to both the community and the surrounding ecosystems. Clean watersheds also reduce tax burdens, as methods to reverse the effects of polluted runoff on damaged ecosystems is costly. Healthy watersheds also raise property values and improve local habitats as well as aid in the maintenance of clean waterways, parks and streets.

Many structures located on the watershed land surround Lake Roland, including septic systems and mulch tumblers, are outdated and in need of renovation. These dated systems cause water to collect toxic waste and subsequently mix with the lake and stream water. Additionally, stormwater management systems do not meet modern regulations. One major example of the dated nature of these stormwater management systems include the dilemma of “100-year storms,” which relates to the concept that modern stormwater management systems should be designed to accommodate the amount of rainwater that would result from a major storm with a one-percent chance of occurring at any time of year. In the Lake Roland area, these current stormwater management systems cannot handle the vast amounts of rainwater that would result from a major storm.

The Bluestem project developers, mindful in their efforts to develop in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem, will prioritize the need of these watershed properties to be redeveloped.  

The Effect of the Mulch Tumbler Site on Lake Roland

A mulch tumbler site, which is located on a watershed property that will be redeveloped as part of the Bluestem project, has persistently harmed the water purity and environmental integrity of Lake Roland and the park. Mulch tumblers spread non-native seeds throughout the environment and leak toxic run-off into surrounding waterways, including Lake Roland and the Jones Falls, which eventually flow into the Baltimore Harbor. In an effort to reduce the impact of the mulch tumbler site on the environment of both Baltimore County and Baltimore City, the removal of the site will be included in the Bluestem development project.

Outdated Septic Systems in the Area

Several residential and business properties surrounding the lake are currently outfitted with outdated septic systems. Because of these inefficient systems, domestic wastewater leaks into Lake Roland, threatening the current ecosystem and potentially affecting the health and safety of Lake Roland residents. In fact, the Lake Roland Nature Council site regularly updates the public about the poor water quality of Lake Roland, which hampers the ability of park visitors to utilize the lake and which is due to a variety of ecological concerns, including these dated septic systems. Whereas these septic systems were once deemed “modern” during their initial development over 100 years ago, many have not been updated since. Therefore, the century-old pipes installed in many old Lake Roland homes can potentially harm the surrounding ecosystem by mingling wastewater with stormwater.

The Bluestem development team has worked in tandem with Baltimore County officials to determine a plan of action that will ensure local sewer lines will not be overtaxed by the new development. The construction of the Bluestem development will incorporate modern development techniques that will include up-to-date plumbing facilities. These updated structures will work harmoniously with the natural surroundings, thereby mitigating the effects of the outdated septic systems on the surrounding environment.

Bluestem Developers Aim to Improve the Surrounding Ecosystem

Ultimately, the development team for Bluestem is taking an environmentally-conscious approach to the multi-use development and are aware of the importance of upholding and improving the cleanliness, health and aesthetic of Lake Roland and the surrounding park. That is why the project development will focus on both mitigating any negative effects on the environment as well as improving the surrounding ecosystem with updated waste management systems and a removal of harmful structures that will improve the water purity and safety of Lake Roland. Redevelopment is essential for both open space and park conservation, which is why Bluestem will prioritize the implementation of modern codes and updated building requirements for the future of the lake and the community.