At the beginning of 2017, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works Watershed Liaison representative, a rep of Blue Water Baltimore and several parishioners determined there was no land on which Memorial could add even a single tree for environmental stewardship.
But, that late spring, an application for sidewalk tree pit expansions for bigger, healthier trees, related costs and a new bicycle rack was made to BGE Green Grants. The award notice came in July whereupon a co-lead of Memorial’s Creation Care Team reached out to one of the neighborhood Title 1 public schools to initiate what came to be called the Memorial Episcopal Tree Pit Expansion Outdoor Environmental Education Event. Before the end of their vacations, teachers from the two other neighborhood schools were enjoined to participate in the program. All teachers agreed to associated environmental instruction before the date. BGE was later asked if it would deploy a bucket truck in support of the event.
On the morning of Friday, October 6, a BGE bucket truck crew arrived and parked curbside, then the 30+ students and their teachers from the 3 schools arrived. The students were divided into teams of 3 or 4 per tree pit. Beside the teachers, Creation Care Team members and the church rector were also arrayed around for action. All hands, including those of the bucket truck crew, worked to recondition the expanded tree pits with composted soil, top soil and mulch. A great deal of excitement was created when the students saw there were two dozen earthworms to add for cultivating the soil of the tree pits. They then planted liriope spicata, a hearty perennial grass. Afterwards, two nearby storm drains were stenciled to make a further point about healthy trees and stormwater mitigation.