Tucked in a meaningful corner of a downtown K-12 school campus, this unique open, Sacred Place has offered a moment of respite to countless students, teachers, parents and passersby over its two decades of existence.
We love the inspired programs that spring to life in these kinds of urban settings. As in here at St. Mary’s—this garden has played host to many project-based environmental education programs over the years.
Moreover, the St. Mary’s Parish has retrofitted a 2.1 acre parking lot with 9 rain gardens to thwart stormwater run-off into the adjacent Spa Creek. The students are involved in maintaining these native, pollutant-absorbing gardens—enriching a deep understanding of of environmental stewardship and STEM subject matter.
This week, our interest was piqued when we noticed a colorful river of painted rocks meandering past our bench. We learned this is part of the school’s theme this year: “All Are Welcome.” The rock river is a metaphor for the school’s embrace of diversity—a celebration of individuality and personal differences. Each stone has been individually hand-painted by students in a meaningful and creative exercise of inclusion. This got us thinking. Today, as we innovate and reimagine our cities to be more sustainable, resilient and unified—it’s worth taking some inspiration from local community thought-leadership. Like here, at St. Mary’s.