For years, the Chizuk Amuno Congregation in suburban Baltimore had a lake it didn’t want on its front lawn.
“Lake Chizzie” was the Baltimore County synagogue’s flooded parking lot, created when rainwater pooled on the low-lying portion of a paved surface large enough to accommodate the 1,200 member families’ cars. On the other side of the main building, near the pre-school, was another parking lot cum lake: a lot that often flooded and, in the winter, created ice hazards for children.
The synagogue leadership knew that the flooding was not only an unattractive and sometimes dangerous nuisance, but also a staging area for polluted stormwater runoff that would eventually find its way to the Chesapeake Bay. They sought ways to fix it, eventually receiving $240,000 in funds and in-kind assistance from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Blue Water Baltimore.[Continue Reading]