Professor Ronit Eisenbach has been working with Arts on the Block and the Quebec Terrace/Carroll Avenue community in Silver Spring for several years, on the LightScape Rain Garden, a project that aims to increase public safety through lighting and designing a space where people can gather and play as it supports the after school programs provided by the YMCA and Arts on the Block in the adjacent community center.
While construction began in August for the LightScape Rain Garden rain garden, the challenge became how to create a welcoming place during the three-to-five-month gap between the garden’s October completion and the installation of the permanent LightScape benches. What could they do in the interim?
That gap was filled, thanks to MAPP’s student group, Roots: Home & Abroad, who offered to help. Eisenbach teamed up with Nic Przybocki, a Roots leader, to design temporary benches, which Nic then built. In September, a paint party involved local children and this week, with the temporary benches installed and the rain garden completed, community celebrated the spatial transformation with a Garden Party, which can be seen here.
While much of the structure is built from salvaged wooden pallets and scavenged materials, additional funding was also provided by NCSG, EFC and a grant from Community Forklift. The rain garden was made possible through the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach grant which is funded by the Montgomery County Water Quality Protection Charge and managed by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
Led by Professor Eisenbach, The LightScape Rain Garden design team included professionals from the following firms; B Fabrication, Built Environment Engineers, Gilmore Lighting Design; Lila Fendrick Landscape Architects, Neubauer Consulting Engineers, T.E.S Consultants and Bruce Lawson Architects and contractors VistaPro: Landscape and Design and Southern Sky Electric. UMD Alumni, Sadie Dempsey, Russell Holstine, and Austin Raimond and current UMD students Eric Bos, Dallas Chavez, Phillip Dayou, Sarah Ghafar Samar, Tricia Rowedder, Heather Summers have also assisted with the project.
View the photo album here.