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DNR Promotes Sustainable Solutions At U.S. Botanical Garden Exhibit
Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, DNR Collaborate on Rain Garden Exhibit
Washington, DC — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has partnered with the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council on a unique rain garden exhibit currently on display at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The display is part of the "One Planet -- Ours! Sustainability for the 22nd Century'" exhibition where more than 40 organizations showcase sustainable solutions for homeowners.
“The potential impact of each resident and business owner in the region adopting sustainable living, operations, and landscaping practices adds up to making the Chesapeake Bay and local rivers and streams significantly cleaner,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin. “If each of us took action, even small steps to reduce our individual impact on the environment, the difference in the quality of our environment would be monumental.”
The exhibit, Rainscaping – Beautiful Solutions to Water Pollution, provides solutions for managing stormwater runoff, a major concern for the Chesapeake Bay and its streams and rivers. Due to increased development of the Chesapeake region’s rural landscape, rainwater now runs over more hard, impervious surfaces – roads, sidewalks, and roofs – and collects fertilizers, pesticides, loose soil, motor oil, pet waste and trash before ultimately ending up in the nearest stream or river.
“Any landowner can create a rain garden and it requires the same, if not less upkeep than a ‘regular’ garden,” said Kerrie L. Kyde, Habitat Ecologist and Invasive Species Specialist of DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service, who is also a member of the CCLC. “The exhibit demonstrates that citizens can adopt landscaping designs that are welcoming, attractive, and environmentally beneficial.”
Features include a series of rain gardens linked by dry stream bed, pervious pavers, and rain barrels, all planted with native plants that are adapted to the region’s soil and climate. These elements reduce, trap, and filter runoff so that cleaner water flows to our waterways. It also creates healthy habitat areas full of wildlife. The exhibit showcases about 40 different species of native plants.
“One of the advantages of having a rain garden is that it expands the range of plants you can grow,” said Kyde. “Our exhibit contains three big trees – fringe tree, river birch, and sweetbay magnolia – and also is home to spectacular wetland plants such as cardinal flower, rose mallow and turtlehead, the host plant for Maryland’s state butterfly – the Baltimore Checkerspot.”
The U.S. Botanical Garden was so pleased with the exhibit that they extended its display time for an additional year. The garden is located on the east side of the Botanic Gardens at 100 Maryland Ave, SW. The exhibit was made possible by the generous contributions of multiple donors and partners.
DNR encourages Marylanders to adopt sustainability-minded changes in their everyday activities, like creating a rain garden to clean stormwater runoff, in order to preserve the Chesapeake Bay and other precious natural resources that Maryland has to offer for future generations. DNR encourages Maryland residents and businesses to contact a local forester to learn about planting native species and sustainable forestry in their communities and backyards. For more information about planting a rain garden, click here.
The Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council is a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to researching, promoting, and educating the public about conservation-based gardening and landscaping practices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Council is committed to fostering changes in public attitude and the implementation of practices that result in a cleaner, healthier and more beautiful environment benefiting residents and the region’s biological diversity. For more information about the CCLC, visit www.chesapeakelandscape.org.
July 16, 200888
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov