Providence Center Horticulture Program Helps Restore Shoreline
Center’s participants with developmental disabilities to provide 150,000 plants for wetlands restoration project.
Every day, thousands of Broadneck residents drive by the Providence Center’s horticulture greenhouses sitting along Shore Acres Road right before the College Parkway intersection.
Last week, Providence Center’s horticulture program provided the first installment of 90,000 grass plants from those greenhouses to Dominion Energy for a wetlands restoration project in Lusby, Md.
Providence Center, based in Anne Arundel County, provides an array of services and support, including medical supervision and care, psychological assistance, skills training for daily living, vocational training and job placement, as well as retirement services for over 500 local developmentally disabled adults. Along with the horticulture center, there is also the pottery center located off of Church Road by the Senior Center as well as another vocational training building off Ritchie Highway, all in Arnold.
The energy company and Providence Center’s horticulture program have established a contract enabling the Center’s clients to seed and grow 150,000 plants for the project that is part of Dominion’s shoreline restoration efforts at its Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility in the Chesapeake Bay.
According to a release from the Providence Center, twenty of their clients were paid (with the assistance of four staff members) to provide the bay grasses after growing the plants using an intricate, all-by-hand process.
The plants are spartina alternaflora and spartina paten which can grow up to four feet high, are native to the Chesapeake Bay and will assist in shoreline restoration and act as a habitat for native species.
Each hand-seeded tray of grasses was completed in early March, with the first delivery of 90,000 plants delivered last week. The remaining 60,000 plants will be planted at the end of May or the beginning of June, according to the Providence Center.
“It has been an extreme privilege to work on this project with Dominion Energy,” Temple Zito, director of the Center’s horticulture program said. “Dominion Energy’s whole approach was about making this project, and particularly our participation, a success. It was certainly a challenge but we worked hard, applied ourselves and have reached our goal.”
“We are fortunate to be partnering with Providence Center, a Maryland organization that shares our commitment to protecting and preserving the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Pamela Faggert, vice president and chief environmental officer for Dominion. “We look forward to watching the results of our effort as this project helps restore and protect a pristine wetlands environment at Cove Point.”
Providence Center Executive Director Chuck Coble added, “We are proud to partner with companies like Dominion Energy to empower and educate while also contributing to better communities and a better Chesapeake Bay.”