By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of Baltimore’s best-known hospitals is going green in a big way.

A major water conservation project is underway at MedStar Harbor Hospital on South Hanover St. that is set to cost $1.34 million.

“We really believe here at MedStar Harbor Hospital that our location is a critical component of our healing environment,” said Dr. Stuart Levine, president of MedStar Harbor. “Just look how beautiful our setting is. We hear it from patients and their families, that coming to our hospital and looking out over the water truly adds to the therapeutic environment.”

The hospital sits on the banks of the Patapsco River.

“This is so important because the middle branch of the Patapsco River, which is not always the healthiest river, yet we see folks out here fishing and crabbing to feed their families and we want to make sure that the water is getting cleaned up,” said Jenn Aiosa, executive director of Blue Water Baltimore.

A healing garden will also be a part of the project.

“The more we can add to that space, the more we can add green space, the more we can add healing and therapeutic areas to our campus. We truly believe it will be a better experience for our patients,” Dr. Levine said.

25 trees, 6,000 shrubs, and more than 30,000 native perennials will be planted. The vegetation is designed to absorb water and slow down potential flooding.

“So that vegetation is going to work for years to come at filtering all of that runoff, all of that stormwater, and making that water cleaner before it hits the Patapsco River,” Aiosa added.

If all goes as planned, the water conservation project will be completed by the end of October. It was funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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