In the Fall of 2012 we created a rain garden to collect the storm water from the roof of the church building. There is one pipe through which all the roof water flows and it had eroded a 3 foot ditch on the other side of the playground. By putting in a rain garden we are able to direct the water into the rain garden where it collects for a bit and then slowly seeps into the ground. The garden is planted with native plants that can tolerate being submerged in water for a while. The plants also help absorb and cleanse the water as it collects in the bowl of the rain garden. The water stays on the church property recharging the groundwater instead of flowing down the hill. The garden even survived Hurricane Sandy – see pictures – and drained properly. There is an overflow area in the garden and that functioned properly as well. Most of the plantings survived the winter and have blossomed or are blooming now. The rain garden provides habitat now for pollinators and birds and hopefully adds some aesthetic value to our property.
Most of the funding was obtained through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The extra fee required for Maryland Save the Bay license plates goes to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which then provides grants to projects such as our rain garden. Also many parishioners donated plants as did the Mt. Airy Garden Club. The rain garden was designed and installed with help from the Carroll County Bureau of Resource Management, the Carroll County Baywise Master Gardeners, Byran Kerr of Kerr Landscaping, LLC (and St. James parishioner) and Ryan Ward, Landscape Development Corporation. Some sixteen parishioners and twelve individuals from Serenity House did the digging, moving of rocks and soil, leveling and planting!
The Rev. Portia Hirschman dedicated the garden on May 5, 2013, Rogation Sunday.
Rain gardens can be installed in just about anyone’s yard. The size of the garden is determined by the footprint of the house. There are many resources on the web but one helpful website is www.lowimpactdevelopment.org. This site includes templates for rain gardens that can be used for residential properties.
Thank you to everyone and enjoy your rain garden!