This has been both a challenging and a rewarding season of earth-care projects! The native plant gardens around the Church House and garage continue to thrive. This fall we added a new conservation landscape garden adjacent to the labyrinth, enhancing rain-water management as well as making this place more pleasant and welcoming for personal and small group meditation and gathering.
The woodland sanctuary and meadows continue to be transformed from an overgrown and unusable place. Now ending the third year of development, it is becoming a place where pollinators and other little creatures find welcoming habitats as well as a place for the congregation and community to go for quiet meditation, learning, fun, and gardening. We have planted hundreds of flowering native plants, hundreds of square feet of native grasses, many new native trees and shrubs, and are developing dem- onstration areas for a variety of habitats. Soon you will see new birdhouses placed throughout, built and installed by the church’s middle school youth. The chipped wood paths lead you into the woods from either Summit Ave or the main parking lot. Look for the welcoming, sanctuary signs!
Unfortunately, we have recently lost six of our largest and most majestic trees. The toll of weatherand age has weakened and stressed trees all over Catonsville. As we have removed trees, we have been planting replacements and have plans for more as funding becomes available. Working with local com- panies, much of the wood from the trees that have come down is being repurposed as furniture and fire- wood. The Creation Care Team closely coordinates with the Trustees to keep our property safe, esthetic, and environmentally sustainable!
We continue to be greatly helped by the generosity of the congregation and community. We also have benefitted the past four years from successfully applying for grant support from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, BGE/Exelon Green Grants, and Baltimore Presbytery’s West Side Story group. Grant funding to date has totaled over $30,000, with the majority going for the woodlands transformation projects! If you are interested in helping the Creation Care Team make our church grounds more environmentally sound and esthetically pleasing, contact Ron Gunderson at firstname.lastname@example.org to gather more details.