In conjunction with the Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails (The Friends), the Severn River Association (SRA) made a generous donation of $700 last year to help beautify Jonas Green Park. Efforts bore fruit this year with five crape myrtles gracing the upper parking lot of the RT 450 spot located just beneath the Naval Academy Bridge outside the City of Annapolis. Jonas Green Park, part of
the Anne Arundel County trail system, is small in size, but attracts over
100,000 visitors per year from all over the world. You will often find bicyclists and hikers meandering through, artists sketching the local scene, fishermen with their rods and crab pots and yoga, canoe and kayak enthusiasts. Many visit simply to find a quiet place for reflection.
Active for over a century to help monitor and improve the water quality of the Severn River, the Severn River Association is uniquely interested in what happens at Jonas Green. Dinny White, member of the SRA as well as a volunteer and active user of the park, contacted The Friends to see what his organization could do. Working with his colleagues to earmark funds, the crape myrtles were planted last fall and blossomed this summer.
“It’s great to see the crape myrtles with their beautiful summer flowers along the riverfront making Jonas Green Park an even more attractive place to spend some time and relax,” enthused John Wright, current President of the SRA. Mr. Wright also serves as the Master Watershed Steward of the Severn River.
While the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks administers Jonas Green, the non-profit Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails serve as a liaison with the county and community to further its mission of promoting, protecting and enhancing the entire trail system. Board members serving in various volunteer capacities recruit volunteers to keep the trails free of debris, raise funds for special projects and benches and maintain the growing number of gardens. The Friends recognize the limited funds the county has for such amenities and devotes its efforts to supplementing the county’s resources.
"As a Board Member of The Friends, it has been part of my dream to add color and texture to this once monochromatic landscape frequented by generations of local folks. By adding plants, bushes and trees that can tolerate this often challenging environment, the heat quotient is reduced, the soil is held back from leeching into the river, and birds and wildlife find habitat and food sources,” said Diane Evans. “The Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails are deeply grateful to the Severn River Association for helping use their resources to make visiting this ‘sacred spot’ not only a more pleasurable experience, but one benefitting the environment as well.”