Franciscan Conservation In Action

Our Ellicott City, Maryland campus (location of the Our Lady of the Angels Provincial House, Portiuncula Friary, Shrine of St. Anthony, St. Joseph Cupertino Friary, Companions of St. Anthony and Carrollton Hall) has a power purchase agreement with Solar City, including on site solar panels, with an expansion project in the works.
Click this link to view the system array: SolarGuard


St. John’s Wort – One of the Many Beautiful Specimens in the Portiuncula Friary Rain Gardens

On the grounds of the Provincial House, there are also rain gardens, created through the Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY), a program funded by Maryland’s Howard County, and administered by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (the Alliance), with support of People Acting Together in Howard (PATH) designed to meet environmental health and employment goals for young people aged 16-25.  Building rain gardens throughout the county will help alleviate the flow of toxic storm water runoff polluting streams, rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, in addition to significantly eroding our land, while creating green jobs and improving watershed health through the reduction of storm water runoff. The project focuses on training in the design and installation of green storm water techniques such as rain gardens and rain barrels. It also reduces the amount of storm water runoff in Howard County by installing these storm water practices on institutional properties within the County, resulting in the capture of runoff from approximately 240,000 square feet (120,000 in phase 2) from rooftops and other impervious surfaces. The final goal is to link these young adults to local environmental job opportunities.

The Our Lady of the Angels Provincial House~Portiuncula Friary, in Ellicott City, Maryland, was chosen as one of the sites for some of their work. In the summer of 2012, the instructor and team leader visited the site and measured out three different areas in the front of our building and parking area that would be conducive to creative a rain garden. Plants included in these gardens are Japanese Sedge, White Turtlehead, Pink Turtlehead, Green-and-Gold, Tickseed, Coneflower, Blaze Star, St. John’s Wort, Crested Iris, Blue Flag Iris, Soft Rush, Gayfeather, Cardinal Flower and Maryland’s Sate Flower, the Black Eyed Susan.
There are hopes to add more rain gardens to the property. Now in our 2nd year, the gardens are thriving, adding not only beauty to the property but helping the friars promote and encourage conservation.


After Three Summers – The Rain Gardens Are Thriving!

Rain Garden 1

Original Plan for the Portiuncula Friary’s Rain-Garden Pictured Above