Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides. This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health. Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways. This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!
Project location: Fallston, MD
Problem: Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Fallston had a turf lawn that was providing minimal stormwater management or water quality benefits.
Solution: Recognizing the role that trees play in air and water quality protection, carbon uptake, cooling and beautification, Holy Communion determined to convert its lawn to forest. Working with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, church leaders designed a planting plan comprised entirely of native species. Roughly 40 volunteers helped with the planting, with guidance from the Alliance. Volunteers also participated in a spiritually-based educational program led by Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake that helped congregants understand the moral imperative to care for Creation, the symbolism and importance of trees in Biblical scripture, and how to relate these faith messages to living sustainably in everyday lives. Church members and staff will conduct ongoing watering and maintenance of the trees.
Scale: 90+ trees
Pollutants removed: 4.71 lbs/yr nitrogen;.19 lbs/yr phosphorous; .0155 tons/yr sediment
Funding sources: Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Partners: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay; Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
More information: http://www.holycommunionfallston.org/docs/outreach/green_sheep.htm