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Southern Environmental Center

The EcoScape Program: Sims EcoScape

Roald and students at workHistory

This EcoScape is spread across 5 adjacent lots in Homewood, and is named in honor of Catherine Sims. Affectionately known as the Plant Lady of Edgewood, Catherine was passionate about gardening, and appreciated even the smallest detail of each flower. In her will, she deeded her property to the City of Homewood, with the stipulation that it be maintained as a community park and outdoor classroom. After an initial lag period during which the site became overgrown with weeds, the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College was brought in to do a total makeover.

Today, the 3 lower lots are covered with native grasses, plants, and heirloom roses. The upper garden includes a brick patio, moss rock seating wall, bamboo fence, and a tool shed which showcases a green roof & rainwater collection system. Catherine's former greenhouse has At work on Simsbeen restored, and is surrounded by compost demonstration lots. A bio-swale adjacent to the new parking area captures and slows storm water runoff, while passively watering plants. A massive Sycamore tree propagated by Catherine stands guard over the entire property and provides song birds a perching place.

Behind Ms. Sims former home, a quiet courtyard space provides a perfect setting for receptions or lectures. No EcoScape would be complete without an edible landscape, and you'll find plenty of blueberries, figs, muscadines, peaches, mayhaw, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Catherine would have wanted it that way.

View a map of the Sims EcoScape.

Follow Sims EcoScape events here.