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. 

St. Mary’s celebrates the inspired programs that spring to life in these kinds of urban settings; 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 runoff 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. 

All are welcome at St. Mary’s, a principle embodied by a colorful river of painted rocks meandering past the Nature Sacred bench. Each stone was individually hand-painted by students in a meaningful and creative exercise of inclusion — an inspiration as we reimagine our cities to be more sustainable, resilient and unified.