Scout’s project adds ‘rain garden’ at Halmich

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 8, 2012

 Warren Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman and aspiring Eagle Scout Jonathan Chmura stand before the new rain garden at Halmich Park. Chmura spearheaded efforts to build the garden as a project tied to his efforts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America.

Warren Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman and aspiring Eagle Scout Jonathan Chmura stand before the new rain garden at Halmich Park. Chmura spearheaded efforts to build the garden as a project tied to his efforts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America.

Photo by Brian C. Louwers

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WARREN — When it rains at Halmich Park, water will pour over an array of native perennial plants in a “rain garden” planned by an aspiring Eagle Scout.

The new garden, on the north side of the park near Chicago Road west of Ryan, was planted June 2 by scouts from Troop 1478, based at St. Anne.

Troop member Jonathan Chmura coordinated the effort as a service project required to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

Chmura, 17, said last week the idea flowed from conversations he had with Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman. Chmura also works as a lifeguard at the Warren Community Center.

“It will help filter the water. It supports all the native plants in the area,” Chmura said of the garden. “It also helps support insects and birds.”

Varieties of aster, goldenrod, iris, dogwood, sunflower and other plants — all native to the state of Michigan — were planted in a ditch under earth tilled with the help of resident Chuck Anglin.

The Warren Kiwanis donated $290 to purchase the plants.

Chmura said he hoped the combined donations of time and labor from residents, the scouts and Kiwanis members would leave a garden that will flourish in the weeks and years to come while serving as a model for others wishing to enhance city parks.

Bowman said more similar projects, if tackled at other Warren parks, would be perfect candidates for the city’s new Adopt a Park program, which aims not only to clean, but also to beautify the city’s recreational acreage.

“It’s very nice that we can add something like a rain garden to the park,” Bowman said. “It’s adding native plants back into a lot of our parks. It’s going to set a really good example in our community, where homeowners and businesses can start establishing these rain gardens.

“It’s a really good project for our environment,” Bowman said. “The big project was getting it established. Once it’s established, you don’t have to water it any more. It will sustain itself.”

Bowman said Chmura had committed to visiting the garden as needed for several weeks until the new plantings take hold.

A temporary sign recognizing the troop’s efforts currently marks the site; a permanent sign is being created by the city of Warren’s Department of Public Works sign shop.

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