Spring Meeting 2014

RACINE GREEN CONGREGATIONS

REPORT FOR SPRING MEETING SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014 AT TRINITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

 

Present: 15 people representing The Eco-Justice Center, Emmaus/St. Andrew, First United Methodist Church of Muskego. Mount Pleasant Lutheran, Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist, Resurrection Lutheran, and Trinity United Methodist Church.

 

The Rev Jeanne Jones of Trinity United Methodist gave the opening devotion

 

“Earth-friendly Lawn Care: What it is and How to do it.” Presented by Alison Chernouski of the Root Pike Watershed Initiative Network.

The presentation explained the organization and the programs of Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network. She explained how the runoff from our yards gets into the waste stream and eventually the water shed. We were encouraged to avoid fertilizers and other lawn or garden treatments with toxins. We were also told not to put grass clippings on the street to be washed down in the storm drain. These items drain critical oxygen needed by fish and other water life. We are to pick up after our dogs. Stop oil leaks in cars and use a car wash.

We were encouraged to plant trees and rain gardens that absorb water rather than let it run off and to install rain barrels to catch/ use water coming off of rooftops. We were encouraged to use milorganite as fertilizer, which will safely promote grass growth and also diminish weeds. Also, she promoted fescue lawn grass, a short slow-growing grass that will significantly limit the need to mow. Alison answered question of the group.

 

The congregations then reported their green activities.

The Eco-Justice Center: Sister Janet went through a list of activities that are taking place in the next few months at the Eco-Justice Center. She also reported that they are in process of building a treehouse.

 

Resurrection Lutheran Church: They have developed a prairie area on their property that includes berry bearing trees, seed balls thrown into the Prairie to create flower bombs, and a place for people to walk and enjoy the natural area.

 

Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist: They are in process of expanding the planting of native garden plants in a natural area near their building.

 

Trinity United Methodist Church: They were happy to host our meeting. They are recycling printer cartridges and their bulletins. They host the food pantry on the north side. They also announced that there was a recycling day at the Caledonia town Hall for all things electronic.

 

Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church: They showed a display that could be used at Earth Sunday that included recycled toilet paper, recycled coffee filters, compact fluorescent light bulbs, the recycling of hardcover books, and the disposal of medications. They showed a video by high school girls on water use. John Berge he writes a monthly column on local issues of ecological stewardship which is circulated for other congregations to include in their newsletters.

 

First United Methodist Church of Muskego: They have installed a rain barrel, and they work with their garden to provide food for the Muskego food pantry.

 

Emmaus/ St. Andrew Lutheran Church: Together these congregations are carrying out the Cool Congregation program designed to lower energy use and carbon footprint in member’s homes. They have about 20 home units participating, divided into small groups to meet and do their home carbon footprint, make a pledge to lower their energy use in various ways, and to return a year later and measure the ways in which they have lowered their carbon footprint.

St. Andrew has qualified as an Energy Star certified house of worship, which they have achieved through the Energy Stewards Initiative program sponsored by Lutherans Restoring Creation. EPA Energy Star has announced that the EPA energy Star program will be an initiative in Racine and Kenosha. Information was given out about this program.

 

Emmaus/ St. Andrew also has its leadership in place for its garden and for the farmers market it hosts in the parking lot on 4 mile Road on Thursday afternoons. They will continue to contribute to the food pantry in the north side at Trinity United Methodist.

 

Rev. Michael Mueller closed with prayer.

Our thanks to Trinity United Methodist Church for hosting us and for the refreshments.

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