You may not know about the Anne Arundel County nonprofit organization Unity Gardens, but you may have seen or heard about the rain garden at Woods Memorial Church in Severna Park or the native plants beautifying State Circle in downtown Annapolis. These two local gardens are just a few of the 500 ecological projects that have been funded by Unity Gardens since 2003. In total, Unity Gardens funded six of the 25 grants awarded last year to Severna Park community projects, totaling 20% of its 2019 budget.
The organization’s mission is to “empower and educate diverse Anne Arundel County communities to create and sustain healthy ecological spaces that enhance life, one native garden at a time.” Unity Gardens supports that goal by awarding $1,000 grants to schools, religious organizations, scout troops and homeowner association groups for purchasing native perennials, shrubs and trees. The group’s conservation efforts total $500,000 to date. Unity Gardens focuses on the use of native plants, trees, and shrubs to rebuild and sustain a healthier and better ecological environment for Anne Arundel County.
Unity Gardens’ main event and fundraiser each year is its Garden Speaker Series. This year, it features Barbara W. Ellis and the topic “Greener Gardens, One Step at A Time.” Ellis has extensive knowledge about Bay-wise gardening on the Eastern Shore and will talk about how people can create lush gardens by slowly replacing ornamental plants that aren’t native to this area and do not sustain a healthy ecological balance.
This year’s fundraiser is on Saturday, March 7, at Woods Memorial Church. It will be a large social event with door prizes and a raffle. The doors will open at 10:00am. One of Unity Gardens’ local sponsors, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, will be on hand to provide coffee gratis to attendees upon arrival. Light snacks will also be provided. Ellis’ presentation will begin at 10:30am and she will sign books afterward. There will be a buffet at noon. Bin 201 Wine+Spirits, another sponsor, will provide wine tasting. And in keeping with the spirit of honoring the environment, this event will also be zero-waste. Attendees will be provided the opportunity to either recycle or compost materials used during the fundraiser.
Unity Gardens has several generous sponsors: Bay Point Wealth; Patuxent Nursery; Solar Energy Services; Graul’s Market; Clement Hardware; Anne Arundel County Farm, Lawn and Garden Center; Zachary’s Jewelers; Bowen’s Farm Supply; Citizen Pride; Tara’s Garden Design; Hustead Landscape Architecture; Deborah M. Schwab Landscape Architecture and many more. All of these companies are trying to assist in building a better environment for future generations.
Tickets for the spring speaker event and fundraiser are $70 in advance or $75 at the door until they run out. The event is held at Woods Memorial Church at 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Severna Park. For more information about this event or Unity Gardens, go to www.unitygardens.org or send email to email@example.com.