Neighborhood Projects: Miramar Landing HOA (2016 - 2017)
The Miramar Landing community consists of approximately 740 single family and townhomes in Middle River, MD. The Clear Creeks Project at Miramar Landing, funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust's Outreach and Restoration Grant, installed a variety of Bay-Wise practices on shared, community-held properties.
Bay-Wise Certification for the HOA
In 2016, Miramar Landing earned the distinction of becoming the first HOA in Baltimore County to have its community property certified as a Bay-Wise landscape through the Baltimore County Master Gardeners. The University of Maryland Extension's Bay-Wise Program's motto is "Better Water Quality through Smarter Gardening." The Bay-Wise practices that we installed at Miramar Landing are designed to decrease water pollution by controlling stormwater run-off. Present and future residents of the Miramar Landing community can proudly state that their HOA is an active supporter of a healthy Chesapeake Bay.
Jr. Green Thumbs Club
Our partnership led to the formation of the HOA's Jr. Green Thumb Club, where local children could learn about gardening and Bay-Wise practices. The Club provided hands-on opportunities for young families to give back to the community while instilling a love of nature. Club members asked just as many questions—What type of wildlife WILL visit this garden?—and made nature observations—we found 3 types of spiders in this mulch pile—as the adult volunteers.
Free Native Plant Garden Plans
Miramar Landing residents have access to FREE garden plans designed for their house style. Each plan includes a suggested layout of how to plant the garden, a list of recommended native plants, and a directory of where to buy the plants. Native plants typically require less maintenance and have the added bonus of attracting wildlife, such as butterflies.
During our 2016 Earth Day tree planting, HOA President Purnell Glenn spoke to a large crowd and said "Twenty years from now, someone is going to say 'thank-you." It only took less than a year for Purnell's dedication and vision of an environmentally-sustainable Miramar Landing to be realized. Purnell received the following accolades for the 100+ hours he volunteered to plan, promote, and champion the Clear Creeks Project at Miramar Landing. Mr Glenn is the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy's 2016 Community Leader of the Year and Baltimore County's 2017 Neighborhood Hero award winner.
"Growing community together means we have a shared stake. As a newer community with young families, we don't have time to talk to each other. This [Project] brings people together." ~ Sheila East, Miramar Landing resident since 2006
“We’ve started finding monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweed plants in our rain garden, and the community gardens right near us, and bringing them inside to raise/release…Both kids (2 and 5 years old) have been obsessed with watching the caterpillars grow and transform. I cannot stress what a great bonus side-effect this has been to installing a rain garden. We’re able to conduct a living science experiment in our home with little-to-no effort. It has been such an amazing learning experience for the kids, and it is all thanks to the work that the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy did in our community.” ~ Lindsey Drysdale, Miramar Landing resident
"We lucked out. I don't have a green thumb, and we were looking for someone to come out and help. It was fantastic" ~ Eric Damon, Miramar Landing resident and recipient of rain barrels and Bayscape garden.
"Twenty years from now, someone is going to say 'thank-you.' I believe you can take a little Project and turn it into something big; you just need a little help and a little vision and then, you just need to follow through." ~ Purnell Glenn, Miramar Landing HOA President
"I think when you bring children along, they have buy-in. You are passing along values to children, and they have appreciation for where they live and having others see they appreciate where they live." ~ Sheila East, Miramar Landing resident since 2006.
The Clear Creeks Project is made possible through funding from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Chesapeake Bay Trust; Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability; Baltimore Gas and Electric; Gunpowder Valley Conservancy; and Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, administered by Maryland Department of Natural Resources.