The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

St. Mary’s Arboretum Association to Give Rain Garden and Tree Planting Workshop

October 30, 2012
Press Release #12-135


Join the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association for a morning of planting presentations on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Campus Center of St. Mary’s College of Maryland from 9 a.m. until noon. All arboretum events are free and open to the public.   

Jackie Takacs, watershed restoration specialist with the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program, will demonstrate how to channel storm water run-off and minimize erosion by planting a rain garden for water management. After a 9 a.m. presentation in the Campus Center’s Cole Cinema, Takacs will then take visitors onto nearby campus grounds to explore existing and in-progress rain gardens at the college. 

At 11:30 a.m., Lesley Urgo, founding member of the arboretum, will give a hands-on demonstration for participants to learn the latest techniques for proper tree planting. Attendees are asked to wear appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes—the presentations will take place rain or shine.

“Rain gardens are relatively simple to create and populate with plants that can withstand both wet and dry conditions,” said Takacs. “They can help the homeowner deal with grading issues, and erosion challenges. Knowing the steps involved and knowing what to buy to plant in a rain garden is key.” 

“Similarly, planting a tree is relatively easy, but some may be discouraged based on the difficulty they think is involved,” says Urgo. “Workshop participants will learn that beautifying their homes with trees is simple and easy with the proper tools and techniques.”   

As an added bonus, participants can take home free tree or shrub seedlings from the arboretum’s plant nursery. Project funding for the seedlings is provided by the Chaney Foundation of Waldorf, Md.

The St. Mary’s Arboretum Association was founded in 2010 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. As the state’s public honors college, St. Mary’s College exemplifies an honors commitment in all that it does, be it in the classroom or in its grounds practices and management. The St. Mary’s Arboretum Association holds public education sessions relevant to its waterside home in St. Mary’s County, and this year’s overall theme is “Seeing the Forest…and the Trees…Landscaping with a Sustainable Future in Mind.” All education sessions are free and open to the public.

More information can be found at