Chestertown Garden Club volunteers made the difference on Earth Day project. Photo by John Guthrie.

Thanks to ShoreRivers, the new house on College Avenue in Chestertown, built by Kent Attainable Housing (KAH), is now surrounded by a yard full of greenery native to Maryland. Shore Rivers, a regional non-profit organization, has partnered with KAH as part of its mission to promote protection and restoration of Eastern Shore waterways.

Native plants tend to be stronger, are resistant to bad weather, and require less watering. The new home’s yard minimizes the need for mowing, which decreases air and noise pollution.

We’ve put in an attractive, varied, and sustainable landscape with low maintenance plants, a really transformative project,” said Darran Tilghman, ShoreRivers Director of Community Engagement. “It was an honor to work with the family to choose native plants that will improve water quality in our Chester River. Native plant species do an incredible job of soaking up and cleaning stormwater before it carries pollution to our storm drains and waterways. This beautiful River-Friendly Yard will benefit pollinators, songbirds, and people for years to come.”

On Earth Day six experienced gardeners from the Chestertown Garden club dug in, under the leadership of Connie Schroth, Chair of the KAH Landscape Committee. “Garden Club members love to get involved where we can help!” according to Schroth. Inside a natural fence screening created by evergreens at the rear of the property, there are colorful flowering perennials and shrubs and several native berries, including blueberries. The family chose reds and purples as the main color palette.

The results. Photo by John Guthrie.

ShoreRivers funded the planting project through a grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation that supports our River-Friendly Yards program. Unity Landscape, Inc., who managed the implementation of the landscaping project, discounted their plant materials and labor. Unity, under the leadership of Michael Jensen, strives to be environmentally friendly and puts a priority on bioretention, according to Dan Edwards, Landscape Foreman. A second generous donor of native shrubs was Wye Gardens.

ShoreRivers’ staff has already walked the newest Kent Attainable Housing property to design another river-friendly yard for the second home in Worton.

Kent Attainable Housing (KAH), creates home ownership opportunities for local families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing. KAH has embarked on a multi-year program to build affordable homes and now is planning its second home, being built on property purchased in Worton. The high demand, accompanied by increasing numbers of low-income families, has resulted in housing insecurity for many in Kent County. Kent Attainable Housing believes that when homes are built for families in need, foundations are laid for healthier, happier, and more productive families and a stronger community.

The further success of KAH depends on the resources provided by the community.

For information about Kent Attainable Housing, go to https://kentattainablehousing.org or email kentattainablehousing@gmail.com.