City of Hollywood Recapture the Swale Program

June 2, 2022

Did You Know… The City of Hollywood is in the process of restoring swales throughout the City through the Recapture the Swale program. Swales are a key component of the stormwater management system that reduce flooding and improve water quality.

These sloped grassy areas between roads, sidewalks, and homes are part of our green infrastructure solutions that beautify the City and improve the City's quality of life. This program is partly funded by a grant through the Resilient Florida Grant Program.

What are swales? Swales are sloped grassy areas alongside sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and driveways designed to capture and convey rainwater (runoff) from ponding on permeable surfaces. Swales are natural drainage features, working in conjunction with our stormwater management systems to prevent flooding and naturally replenish our underground drinking water resources.

Benefits of Swales: Swales filter runoff pollutants from entering aquifers and our nearby waterways as swales filter stormwater through layers of plant roots, soil, and rocks. Well-maintained swales provide temporary rainwater storage and help reduce flooding.

Help Protect Hollywood’s Water Quality:

1. Minimize use of fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. This helps prevent algae blooms, fish kills, loss of native species, and other water quality problems.

2. Prevent oil, grease, and other toxic chemicals from entering the storm systems by properly maintaining cars, boats, lawnmowers, and other mechanical equipment.

3. Mulch or bag lawn clippings, leaves, and other organic debris to avoid storm drain clogs or input to bodies of water.

4. Pick up pet waste. Pet waste carries harmful bacteria.

5. Do not feed birds or other wildlife bread or other human food, especially near the beach or other body of water. Feeding birds is harmful to their health and can lead to unnatural flocking behavior. Feeding birds also increases bird droppings and bacteria input that has been directly linked to beach advisories (closures).

Do’s
• Do mow your swale periodically and maintain the grass no shorter than 3 to 6 inches.
• Do allow for ponding in swales. The water will slowly evaporate and filter down into the ground.
• Be a good neighbor and share with others the importance of protecting swales.

Dont’s
• Avoid parking cars or paving swales. This compacts the soil, limiting their ability to filter pollutants and absorb and drain rainwater.
• Keep swales free of bulk trash, dead leaves, or yard clippings. This may clog storm drains located in swales and induce pollution.
• Do not fill or flatten the swale and do not plant new vegetation, unless authorized by the City, as it may obstruct the water flow and make swales less effective.