My Time: Winchester community creates rain garden

From top:
1. Winchester’s environmental mentor, Mel Wilkins, demonstrates proper planting procedures.
2. From left, Mary Lou Baker, Jordan Burroughs and Cathy Noon discuss the benefits of the new rain garden.
3. From left, Winchester residents Alexandra and Jordan Burroughs (ages 2 and 5), concentrate on planting.
4. From left, Kimberlee and Mollie (age 7) Fenn tackle some of the 300-plus plants that beautify the new community rain garden.

Published 10/16/11

The community of Winchester-on-the-Severn installed its second rain garden on Sept. 17. More than 50 residents turned out to plant the garden, which is designed to mitigate stormwater runoff into Chase Creek, a tributary of the Severn.

Environmental activist Mel Wilkins says the new rain garden represents the latest in soft structural technology, called FilterSoxx. As the garden's root systems integrate into the FilterSoxx mesh material, the garden becomes a totally integrated permanent bio-retention system.

FilterSoxx technology also can be seen at the Back Creek Nature Park in Annapolis.

Funding for the rain garden was provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini-Grants Program, residents of the Winchester community, and Unity Gardens, with special support from the Severn River Association and Wilkins. This is the latest project in Winchester's ongoing efforts to improve the quality of water entering the Severn from the community's watershed.

- Eloise Ullman



(Revised October 2011)