The Cylburn Arboretum Association (CAA), Cylburn Arboretum’s nonprofit friends group, is excited to announce three significant new projects at Cylburn Arboretum. Each project is supported by grant funding—bringing additional resources to the Arboretum—and each will add to the aesthetics and improve plant care at Cylburn.
New Rain Gardens at the Mansion
Two new rain gardens on the west side of the Cylburn Mansion are being installed. Supported by grant funding provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, these rain gardens will capture storm water from the Mansion roof. The water will be directed into trench drains to carry it across the road and into the rain gardens. The rain gardens, featuring native plants chosen for rain garden conditions, will add beauty as well as functionality—and the gutters and downspouts on the west side of the Mansion will be restored and no longer dump water on pedestrians using the mansion’s side door!
“We’ve already got one hard-working Bay-wise rain garden at Cylburn,” said Patricia Foster, Executive Director of the Cylburn Arboretum Association, “and we’re eager to be at the cutting edge of Baltimore City parks in installing this new one.”
The grant also includes funding for storm water management improvements in the Moudry Woods area, just northwest of the new rain garden areas. The Moudry Woods installation will further mitigate the volume of run off heading off the plateau that impacts the conifer collection, the greenhouses and the lower rain garden. The educational component of the grant will support development of a “follow the rain drop” activity for children, teaching them how water moves over pavement, passes through soil, and impacts the Chesapeake Bay. (Photos below show the first phase of installation adjacent to the mansion).
Renovation of the Holly Collection
Cylburn’s holly collection, featuring many 50 year old evergreen hollies, will receive major horticultural attention under a grant provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The holly collection is located on the East Lawn, inside the Circle Trail, in an area bounded by mature Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia), Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese Cedar) and Picea abies (Norway Spruce). The renovation will include the removal of debris, including large fallen limbs and branches, the removal of vines and invasive species, the re-establishment of bed lines and tree rings, and renovation of the turf. Work is expected to begin this coming winter and be completed by the summer of 2019.
The timing of the renovation is particularly fortuitous, because the CAA has been the recipient of a very generous donation of plants by the Estate of Charles Anderson. Anderson, a landscape architect by training, was a leading authority on growing and propagating hollies; he lived in Baltimore County and visited Cylburn to provide guidance on pruning and plant care recommendations many times. After his death in July 2018, his family offered Cylburn some of the hollies from his extensive collection, and we have selected 12 specimens for transplantation. These plants will further diversify and enhance our collection. The IMLS grant funding this work is part of the IMLS’s Museums for America program, and we are grateful for this support.
New Plantings at the Main Entrance on Greenspring Avenue.
Visitors to Cylburn will soon find a new entry garden and improved lighting and street signage thanks to funding from the Middendorf Foundation. The installation, designed pro bono by Landscape Architect Jonna Lazarus, will add evergreen plants as permanent features, supplemented by seasonal plantings.
The plantings will be visually linked to the arboretum’s recently added “Piedmont Woods” area that includes trees native to the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont, as well as understory plantings representative of our native woodlands. The new garden will take advantage of the existing stone columns and wrought iron gate thought to be original to the estate. Improved signage will publicize seasonal events and happenings, inviting all to enjoy this beautiful, free local resource.
“This is an exciting time for Cylburn Arboretum,” said Rebecca Henry, President of CAA’s Board of Directors. “All three of these initiatives improve the Arboretum in substantive ways and provide a foundation for future instructional programs. As the Friends Group of the Arboretum, the CAA is delighted to help facilitate this work and grateful to the organizations investing in Baltimore. There’s a real sense of momentum in a positive direction at Cylburn, a beautiful and valuable resource for the community.”
More about CAA’s funders:
About Chesapeake Bay Trust:
The mission of the Chesapeake Bay Trust is to promote public awareness and participation in the restoration and protection of the water quality and aquatic and land resources of the Chesapeake Bay region and other aquatic and land resources of the State. The Trust will engage residents of the region in programs that lead to actions that measurably improve local communities and increase resource stewardship.
About The Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov.
About the Middendorf Foundation:
Located in Baltimore, the Middendorf Foundation has long supported institutions and projects within the following areas of interest to Maryland citizens: culture, education, the environment, health care, historic preservation, and social services.