MRC Installs Rain Garden at St. Mark’s UMC

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Through a partnership with Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton has an attractive new addition to their property. On July 20, volunteers from St. Marks, MRC, and special guests from the YMCA summer camp planted a 240-square-foot rain garden. Workers of all ages planted more than 200 native plants, including over 22 different species, such as red twig dogwood, joe-pye weed, and blueberry bushes.

A rain garden is an attractive and functional technique to reduce stormwater pollution by collecting and absorbing runoff from impervious surfaces such as parking lots, driveways, and roofs. Before the rain garden was installed, a roof gutter from the church building led directly to the storm drain. Since installation of the rain garden, stormwater will be diverted to the rain garden. In addition to improving water quality, this native rain garden will serve as a habitat for birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife.

Runoff from the downspout shown here will now be diverted into the new rain garden.

The St. Mark’s project was funded by Chesapeake Bay Trust. Other project partners included Adkins Arboretum, Kurt Bluemel, Inc, Environmental Concern, Herring Nursery, and Severn Grove Ecological Design. Representatives from St. Mark’s included Frank Meyerle, Bill Gunther and Pat Lewers.

This project is the second rain garden planted in MRC’s Stewards for Streams program,which connects faith-based organizations and environmental stewardship. The program offers congregations a range of engaging and meaningful teachings and activities, from restoration projects and congregation kayak trips, to rain barrel installation and adult/youth environmental education opportunities.

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For those interested in getting involved in projects with MRC, future rain garden plantings are scheduled with Grace Lutheran in Easton and Greater New Hope Ministries in Preston. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Suzanne Sullivan at suzanne@midshoreriverkeeper.org

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