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Rain Gardens and Prairie Tours
June 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Carmel is hosting several guided tours of their award-winning native habitat landscaping. Guided tours are free and open to the public. Celebrate the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice) with Environmental Educator Mary Hayes.
St. Peter’s United Church of Christ is the National Interfaith Power and Light 2014 Cool Congregation Winner in the category, Sacred Grounds.
Sacred Grounds Steward Winner –Carmel, Indiana
CO2 Reduction: 4 metric tons/year
Cost Savings: $2,000/yr
Re-created native habitat replaces lawn, reduces CO2, prevents runoff in Indiana
St. Peter’s UCC has approximately 2.5 acres of ground surrounding the church building, much of it turfgrass. The property has several drainage areas that create runoff and erosion. A comprehensive plan was developed to use native plants to create two rain gardens and a bioswale, along with a watershed area planted with trees and shrubs and a prairie, covering approximately two acres of ground. Volunteers from the congregation and outside community spent over 300 hours planting and caring for more than 6,000 plant plugs, 2 acres of prairie and wetland seed mix, and 60 native trees and shrubs as part of the watershed management system. The native sedges, grasses, and wildflowers are helping to reduce contaminated water from reaching the White River by filtering the water as it passes through the church property and acting as a more effective carbon sink than turf. The primary concerns of the congregation are to lessen its carbon footprint and to manage runoff more effectively. Based on the community’s curiosity and desire to learn more and replicate the model, the church is now becoming a leader in educating others about the benefits of creating and developing more sustainable landscapes to replace lawns.