- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
Annapolis church lot goes green
ANNAPOLIS | When Gerald Winegrad was a child, he played baseball on grassy fields behind St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School in downtown Annapolis.
Over the years, as the church congregation and school enrollment grew, those grounds were paved over and turned into parking lots. Those lots now serve as a highway for rainwater, sending it rushing into nearby Spa Creek, where it deposits chemicals, nutrients and sediment and fouls the water.
Now there has been effort to undo some of that damage. With a grant from the state government, a partnership installed nine rain gardens to absorb and treat the storm water.
“This is hopefully just the beginning,” said Anne Guillette of Low Impact Design Studio in Pasadena, who drew up the plans for the rain gardens.
Curbs were cut away to direct water into the scooped-out areas, which were filled with water-loving plants. The rain gardens allow the storm water to percolate gradually into the groundwater, just as it did before the area was paved over.
“They will capture the runoff,” said Mr. Winegrad, a former state senator who heads the St. Mary’s environmental stewardship committee.
The work was largely being paid for with a $104,000 grant from the state’s Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund. Initially called the “green fund,” the fund is a pot of money for on-the-ground pollution-control projects. The church also kicked in at least $5,000, besides volunteer labor. Students at the school water and maintain the plants.
The parking lot at St. Mary’s was identified as a potential project during a study of the creek watershed that was commissioned by the Spa Creek Conservancy. It’s large and therefore sends a significant amount of pollution to the creek.
Volunteers with the conservancy worked on the project with the St. Mary’s environment committee, the Redemptorists who own the land and the folks who operate the historic Charles Carroll House next door, where one of the rain gardens will be located.
There also were additional layers of approval because of the site’s historic nature. Another complicating factor was that the church needed to make sure no parking spaces would be lost in the project.
Shepherding the project through all the approvals was Spa Creek Conservancy volunteer Mel Wilkins. He said that in urban cities and towns such as Annapolis, doing these kind of “retrofits” is the best way to help the environment.
The project at St. Mary’s is one of several retrofits coordinated by Spa Creek Conservancy volunteers. Heritage Baptist Church on Forest Driver already has rain gardens, and projects are in the works with the Rockfish restaurant in Eastport and the St. Anne’s Parish House near St. Mary’s.
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He's a 'scumbag'
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes