St James Episcopal Church Rain Garden

What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.  

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

before image
The ditch had eroded to waist deep, creating a safety hazard. Credit: Liz Peterson, St. James Episcopal Church.
after image
A rain garden replacing the ditch prevents erosion. Credit: Liz Peterson, St. James Episcopal Church.


Project location: Mount Airy, MD

Problem: St. James Episcopal Church in Carroll County was suffering from significant erosion during storm events.  This posed not only aesthetic and water quality challenges; it also created a safety hazard for students at an adjacent daycare.

Solution:  Funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust enabled installation of a rain garden on the site, which is designed to slow stormwater flows, provide wildlife habitat, and showcase polluted runoff solutions.  More than twenty volunteers devoted 75 hours of time for installation.

Scale: 1,000 square feet

Funding sources:  Chesapeake Bay Trust ($1,600)

Contact Information
Liz Peterson | | 240-446-1932
Key project facts
Project Type
Project Scale
< $10,000
Story Focus
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Business Partnerships
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
Before 2013
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District
Md 8th