Residents of Miramar Landing in Middle River were invited to celebrate their community becoming Bay-Wise certified on Sunday, June 12, and the unveiling of the community’s newest park, Biggs Square Park. The community is the first in the county to achieve the certification.
Biggs Square Park, located in the 700 block of Sherman Road, is part of a community-wide initiative — managed by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust — to plant bay-friendly community landscapes and encourage bay-friendly gardening practices throughout the Miramar Landing community.
Communities can become Bay-Wise certified by helping to control stormwater runoff, encourage wildlife, protect the waterfront, mow properly/water efficiently, mulch appropriately, recycle yard waste, plant wisely, and more.
“We were aware that we have a lot of open space and barren land that we need to replenish,” said Miramar Landing Homeowner Association President Purnell Glenn.
New landscape includes about three dozen types of plants which include: buttonbushes, three kinds of black eyed Susans, muhly grass, switchgrass, goldenrod grass and much more.
According to landscape architect Jack Leonard, the turf before the bay-scape gardens were put into place wasn’t much better than concrete in concerns to stormwater management.
Water would easily flow down the hill, into the street, into the storm drains and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay, he said.
With the new plants, Leonard said, they are able to soak up some of the pollution, and keep it from ever entering the local waterways.
The new bay-scapes also provide more than just stormwater management.
“We are hoping to bring in more natural insects to pollinate, which will bring more birds and wildlife to the area,” Leonard said. “If we don’t provide habitats for small insects, you will lose birds and larger wildlife.”
According to Leonard, it is important to use native plants because local insects can not always eat foreign plants.
If the plants are properly maintained, they will take several years to fully mature.
“I look forward to coming back watching everything grow, season after season,” said County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.
Bevins presented Miramar Landing a County Resolution for their bay-scaping efforts during a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the new Biggs Square Park.
Biggs Square Park is now a model for best Bay-Wise practices surrounding communities can follow, said project manager for Gunpowder Valley Conservancy Peggy Perry.