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Airlie Gardens Stormwater Project

New Hanover County, NC
Program Year: 2020

Historic public garden, home to the NC Champion Live Oak, an azalea collection that tops 75,000 plants, and a watershed that takes in more than 4 million gallons of stormwater. Airlie Gardens is all of these things and is a jewel for New Hanover County. So the challenge for the gardens was-how do we address increasing stormwater demands and accomplish that with a sensitivity toward preserving the historic and cultural qualities of the site, namely the natural habitat and the lake’s pictorial open water? Airlie Gardens is located within the Cape Fear River Basin and is an important watershed in New Hanover County. The gardens are owned by New Hanover County, operated by the Airlie Gardens Foundation and are located within the City of Wilmington. The City of Wilmington adopted the Gray to Blue watershed restoration plan in an effort restore shell fishing habitats to Bradley and Hewlett’s Creeks near Wrightsville Beach. Airlie Gardens sits at the bottom of a 124-acre watershed which discharges directly into Bradley Creek. As such, New Hanover County and Airlie Gardens specifically have embraced the opportunity to provide a direct benefit to the health and vitality of Bradley Creek by exploring stormwater retrofit opportunities within the 67-acre property.

Ms. Jennifer Rigby