Friday, April 1, 2016

A Way to Plant Free Trees

The erosion control project that I am advocating for my church is to block surface runoff from eroding the topsoil into our detention pond by building a hugelkultur mound on the upper rim of the excavated area. This mound would be planted with a cover crop for at least one season, but after that, it would get some perennials or even trees in places where they wouldn't interfere with future building plans.

I hope we can get started with our preparations soon because we might be able to get help from The Alliance for the Chesapeake's Trees for Sacred Places program, which offers not only free trees, but technical support, training, and religiously-oriented motivation. You just need to have room to plant 60 or more trees. This may be possible, but it would surely fill up our open ground (outside the future building footprint). Teaming with another church congregation to make a total of 60 tree plantings may have to be our approach.

Alliance for the Chesapeake has partnerships with an organization called Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, which includes the tree planting program and a new program called RiverWise which looks at stormwater management more broadly, similar to the Watershed Stewards program, and even provides substantial financial assistance to correct problems.

It makes sense to involve church congregations in these efforts. They already have many diligent members who want to be contributors to improving their local communities, but starting with their own properties is a necessary first step.

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