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Colesville UMC attacks water pollution

Posted by Erik Alsgaard on

Colesville UMC dedicates their new Rain Garden

Under a grant from Montgomery County, Colesville UMC now has a rain garden on its front yard. The Board of Trustees applied for a $5,000 grant from the county to help manage storm water runoff from the roof of its Education Wing. County personnel dug out the initial space for the garden and prepared the shallow depression with spongy soil that will allow water to soak into the ground. They then planted a variety of native plants that will help infiltrate the water into the ground, help filter pollutants and provide valuable habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

After reading a special dedication of the garden, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Armstrong, the trustees of the church and other volunteers installed nearly 50 plants left by the County to complete the rain garden.

“Water is the precious elixir of life, without which our earthly existence would cease to be,” Armstrong said at the Sept. 23 dedication. “We dedicate this garden, honoring Mother/Father God, the Creator, honoring Mother Earth which sustains us…” 

The rain garden will serve as a demonstration project for the County to show to other organizations and individuals who may want to create their own RainScape Project.  Lisa Miller, head of The Jamon School that uses the Educational Building, said the rain garden will be an outdoor classroom where her students will plant seeds and learn gardening. 

Carla Ellern, the Montgomery County RainScape Planner, said that the county, like many jurisdictions, is under an Environment Protection Agency enforcement order to decrease the amount of pollutants that enter county rivers and streams from storm-water run-off. In addition to rain gardens, RainScapes can include permeable pavers, pavement removal, water harvesting and several other projects.

Dedication of the Colesville UMC Rain Garden.“This is a space dedicated to reminding us of the wonder of God’s creation,” said Armstrong at the dedication. “This is designed as a space to inspire gratitude and awe for our Mother/Father God who has blessed us with this and other rich resources.”

Armstrong thanked Trustee Board Chair Joyce Koeneman, who conceived and led the effort at Colesville. Prior to doing the rain garden, the trustees had already obtained a “rebate grant” from the county to create a similar garden in front of the church to collect run-off water from the roof of the sanctuary. 

As the volunteers cleaned the area around this garden, as if to signal Mother Nature’s approval, monarch butterfly stopped by to express its appreciation.