The Green Sheep Committee is Holy Communion Lutheran Church's newest committee. Our mission is to design three "islands" of native plants in order to receive funding from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. This committee meets quarterly and is very action oriented.
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE OUTDOOR CHAPEL AND THE GREEN COMMITTEE TREE-PLANTING PROJECT
July 2014 Update
As you may have heard, Vicar Chas has chosen to build an outdoor chapel as her internship project. The specific design details are still being worked out. We will be dedicating this chapel in memory of Pastor Jim Weis. Norma, his widow and a parishioner, graciously gave us permission to use funds from his memorial fund to finance the project.
Our Green Committee tree planting project is right on schedule. We met June 30 with Joann Freeman of the non-profit group, Alliance for the Chesapeake, which is giving us all the trees as well as shrubs, vines and bushes that grow under the taller trees. On the lawn behind the church we will be planting dogwood and redbud trees. These are beautiful in springtime and will create a canopy of pinkish/purple and white blossoms to greet visitors as they turn the corner onto Old Fallston Road.
We will also be planting on the hill which acts as a berm next to route 152. Again, we are using shorter trees-redbuds and dogwood-because the state has a right of way on some of this land, but the 152 expansion is not planned for anytime in the foreseeable future. These trees will be 5-6 feet tall when they are planted and grow to a height of 20 feet.
Beside our woods, we will be planting fruit and nut bearing trees to provide food for insects, pollinators and small mammals. Some of these trees will grow to be quite large. All of the trees will be species native to our piedmont region of Maryland.
Behind the church, beneath the Rose Window, we are going to install a 'rain garden' and fill it with plants that are eaten by the Baltimore Checkerspot, our state butterfly. This butterfly is endangered because of habitat loss and we hope to create a breeding station for them.
When the whole project is finished, we will place signs along a pathway to educate the public about environmental threats. The Chesapeake is threatened by toxic run off. Deforestation in Maryland has reduced the tree canopy which absorbs oxygen. When fully grown, a white oak-our state tree-converts 400 pounds of carbon dioxide into oxygen. However, the average North American uses about 20 tons or 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Again all the plants and trees are free, funded by the Alliance for the Chesapeake. Planting will be done by volunteers and once established the plants and trees will be virtually maintenance-free. If you have any questions, please ask Pastor John, Vicar Chas, or a member of the Green Committee.
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[Updated: January 15, 2016]