In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the DE/MD Lutheran Synod Creation Care Ministry launched the 500 trees project to engage congregations to plant native trees on their property and thereby assist in restoring their local watersheds. Thus far 572 trees have been planted by over 40 congregations. Among them are the Carroll Lutheran Village and Miller's Grant Lutheran Village.
Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster, MD was motivated to participate by the enthusiasm of Jean Hauck, member of the Exterior Care & Grounds Committee along with Carl Martens (both are pictured left in the middle with Bishop Gohl), who helped design a planting plan with a wide variety of native trees. They were inspired to participate in 500 Trees by attending a Workshop led by IPC at Mar-Lu-Ridge Retreat Center. They successfully organized the planting of 60 native trees at Carroll Lutheran Village. On September 13, 2017, a gala celebration was officiated by Bishop William Gohl (pictured left) who blessed all the trees and the volunteers during a beautiful ceremony. Read more about this story in the Carroll County Times.
At Miller's Grant Lutheran Village, in Ellicott City, the large area of their grounds accommodated 200 trees that were planted to capture stormwater runoff, prevent soil erosion, create natural habitat, and add beauty to their grounds. Residents experienced the spiritual workshop offered by IPC where they learned about the faith teachings that undergird watershed stewardship as well as the benefits that trees contribute to clean, healthy water and the wider watershed of the Chesapeake Bay: "500 Trees Project-Creation Care for Watershed Restoration." (See flyer here.)
The project continues this year, with native trees available to be planted at additional congregations! If you are interested, wish to request trees and host a workshop, or need more information please email Deacon Laura Heller. You can also download and share this flyer. Find out more about the work of the Creation Care Ministry here.