The Magical Mercy Rain Garden
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In 2013, the Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded Mercy High School $20,000 to build a bay scape garden to install native plants and reduce water runoff in the largest of the three wetlands, a 3,450 square foot area. This wetland was soon transformed into a beautiful garden which transports visitors into a world filled with unique plants and trees.
This wetland, located on the land that fronts Northern Parkway, was constantly soggy and deeply eroded, with icy conditions in the winter from the runoff. Now it has been transformed into a striking garden. This Mercy Rain Garden was installed in the spring of 2014, directed by Mike McWilliams, president of Maxalea, Inc., a local landscaping firm, and includes more then 300 herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees.
New signage also explains the purpose of the rain garden, the use of native plants, and the positive environmental impact the garden has on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The garden will be maintained by the Mercy community, but other local schools and community members will be included in environmental awareness projects, led by Mercy’s Environmental Awareness Club. Mercy students and their science teachers often visit the garden for science exploration, examining the different types of plants studying the biodiversity within the garden. Already, the Mercy Rain Garden has become a popular site for students and pedestrians, and passersby often can be seen peering at the explanatory sign.
This Rain Garden is only one way that Mercy High School helps to improve the environment. Other environmentally friendly initiatives like motion sensor lights and numerous recycling bins have popped up around the campus. If you want to know more about the Rain Garden and other efforts Mercy is making, try out the Environmental Awareness Club which helps to promote and inspire students, faculty, and visitors to be friendly to the environment.
To view the Mercy Rain Garden Slideshow, click here.