Dream Green – Environmental Stewardship

Some years ago, members of Peace walked around the property and found it to be far from the Garden of Eden.  There was too much grass to mow, too few trees, and too few positive environmental practices. The Dream Green Team was formed.

While there is still a lot of work to do, we invite you to see our progress.  Notice the butterfly garden facing Summit Place between the two entrance driveways.  A cycle of flowers beginning with spring flowering bulbs is followed by sprouting shrubs, flowering annuals, and perennials and herbs especially chosen to attract butterflies.  The summer months are peak time for butterfly viewing.

Down toward Lincolnia Road, at the bottom of the driveway, is a rain garden designed to lessen water run off from the parking lot into the storm drains which ultimately carry polluted water into the Chesapeake Bay.  There are two “ponds” and a channel directing the water.  Here we have planted chokeberry shrubs, a favorite of birds, and other water loving perennials.

gardens1
Our peaceful Butterfly Gardens

On the east side of the sanctuary, beginning at the corner of our property near Lincolnia Road, is the native tree area.  Many trees are still small, but you will be able to identify Virginia pines, several species of oak, red maples, sweetgum, tulip trees, and newly planted hazelnut trees.  The trees provide food for birds and other wildlife and the tulips, oaks and wild cherry are host plants for butterflies.  As the trees grow and provide more shade, the area will reduce heat reflection and provide a cool island of shade in the summertime.

Also on the east side of the church is a new project, a community garden.  We partner with the county and host community gardeners who want to grow their own food but don’t have the land to do so.  Any leftovers go to the food pantry.

At the main entrance of the church is a memorial garden and columbarium, the latter a place for the placement of ashes.  A bench under flowering crape myrtles invites quiet contemplation.

Our focus has also been to conserve energy in our buildings.  We have installed energy-efficient lighting wherever possible.  Programmable thermostats regulate heat and air conditioning, reducing our carbon footprint.

We believe we are all stewards of God’s earth and we want to care for our bit of it as best we can.  Come, walk around, enjoy the plants, butterflies and birds, pray and meditate.