BGE Green Grant Funds School Community Greening Project

Drain StencilingBy Dick Williams

On the morning of Friday, October 6th, more than 30 elementary and middle school students from our neighborhood schools—Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary, Midtown Academy and Mount Royal Elementary/Middle—will participate in a unique community greening project.

Students will get hands-on experience about the value of healthy trees and helpful stormwater mitigation practices.

During the hour-long event, students will revitalize 10 sidewalk tree pits that have just been expanded by Memorial Episcopal Church. Each 3- or 4-student team will recondition the soil in their assigned pit with a mix of compost and top soil, plant liriope (a grass-like perennial), and top with mulch. The expanded tree pits, widened by 36% on average, will have a soil height 1” below the sidewalk level to help capture the maximum amount of stormwater.

They will also assist in stenciling nearby storm drains and learn how polluted stormwater runoff from sidewalks, streets and other impervious surfaces strains the city’s aging sewer pipes and treatment facilities. When these facilities break down, they contaminate our streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

Teachers will be on hand to reinforce in the field what they’ve been learning in class. Recent lessons have focused on how healthy trees sequester carbon dioxide and capture airborne pollutants while diminishing the urban “heat island” effect.

The Rev. Grey Maggiano of Memorial Episcopal will welcome everyone to the event. A BGE Green Grant, awarded to Memorial’s Creation Care Team In July 2017, is funding this creative and fun educational project.