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Green space restored on campus

First slide

Just in time for the new school year, Marymount University in Arlington transformed the parking lot in front of the Main House into a usable green space.

“As students, staff, faculty and their families enter Marymount, they’ll now be greeted with a beautiful lawn devoted to bringing our community together,” said Irma Becerra, president of Marymount. “This area will bring us closer to Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ ’ and his call to become stewards of the most precious resource we share, which is our beautiful world.”

The area boasts about a half-acre of lush grass, creating a sprawling recreational space intended for the campus community to stroll through, meet up for lunch in and host events and gatherings.

The parking lot was built in May 2000 under the leadership of Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Sister Eymard Gallagher as a temporary parking solution until new garages could be built. The garages now provide ample parking, prompting the restoration of the green space. Demolition of the parking lot began Aug. 2 and was completed Aug. 15.

“Bringing back the beloved recreation area has sparked overwhelmingly positive feedback from our staff and faculty and is an impactful step in fulfilling the Marymount campus master plan,” said Barry Harte, vice president for finance and operations, and treasurer at Marymount. “This change is important not only to our students and their families, but also to the greater Arlington community of which Marymount is proud to be a part of.”

The project will also improve campus stormwater runoff management. According to research conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green space effectively absorbs stormwater and boosts water quality, compared to the surface of a parking lot.

Marymount hosted a picnic on the restored front lawn to mark the start of the academic year Aug 23.

In the near future, Marymount looks forward to additional campus enhancement projects, including a reoriented front entrance to help minimize vehicle access to the core of campus, making it more pedestrian friendly; the creation of a student hub in Rowley Hall; and the transformation of the Lodge, a historic campus structure, into a welcome center.

Pelaez is communications specialist at Marymount University in Arlington.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021