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Africatown Heritage House Bioswale (Rain Garden) Dedicated Aug. 11

Posted on: Aug 11th, 2023 | News and AnnouncementsPress Releasesfeatured news


MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. -- The Africatown Heritage House Bioswale, a learning laboratory for Mobile County Training School’s students and teachers, was dedicated in an instructional ceremony on Friday, Aug. 11.


Birmingham-Southern College’s Southern Environmental Center built the Africatown Heritage House Bioswale for beautification and as a learning space for nearby Mobile County Training School students and teachers.


The Africatown Heritage House Bioswale will demonstrate the power of plants for multiple uses, including erosion control and mitigation of pollution caused by stormwater runoff.  Additionally, the Africatown Heritage House Memorial Garden, also built by BSC Southern Environmental Center, teaches about the use of plants for food and medicine.


Africatown Heritage House garden projects were made possible through collaboration between Mobile County Commission, the Mobile Area Lodging Association, the BSC Southern Environmental Center, Mobile County Training School, Mobile County Training School Alumni Association, and the National Academies of Science (NAS) Gulf Research Program.


“For the plantings surrounding Africatown Heritage House to have educational benefits in helping Mobile County Training School students see science in action is yet another benefit of community collaboration,” said Commissioner Merceria Ludgood. 


The bioswale is located between Africatown Heritage House and the Robert L. Hope Community Center.  Signage at the plantings ensure that any visitors can learn about this purposeful planting and its environmental benefits.


Dr. Roald Hazelhoff, Director of the BSC Southern Environmental Center said, “In addition to serving as an outdoor classroom, the Rain Garden will also serve as a public attraction for visitors to the Africatown Heritage House & local residents." 


See before and after photos and learn more about the Africatown Heritage House Bioswale at To learn more about Birmingham-Southern College’s Southern Environmental Center and its many collaborative projects, go to





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