Collaborative work is the core philosophy behind our work at Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC).  

We couldn’t be more excited and proud to announce that we will be working alongside the Chesapeake Bay Trust (again!) in a joint effort (Community-Based Organization Capacity-Building Initiative) to expand the movement of faithful stewards working together to restore creation.  Together, with regional partners, we stand ready to assist underserved congregations learn more, and gain the support and guidance needed to pursue funding for environmentally focused projects. 

Our strategy is simple –

We have seen firsthand the impact a team can have on what a congregation can accomplish.  The truth is, everything is easier with a partner!  Our Faithful Green Leaders Training (FGLT) program offers a FREE 3-part short evening course designed to help you form your own “Green Team.”  Join us for information sessions on how to recruit new allies, become accredited by your faith leadership, as well as identify and undertake environmental actions – led by IPC staff and guest speakers! Details HERE – Next session begins on October 12th.

Once formed, helping Green Teams identify areas for meaningful action becomes a priority for IPC.

Our technical partners are standing by to help our formed Green Teams learn more about the kinds of actions they might be able to take on their own property.  Site assessments aim to help Green Teams understand and catalog the breadth of actions they might be able to take at their own congregation, inside and out.  These assessments will also include the creation of a written report detailing various actions and initiatives available to that group. 

Every congregation is different, so providing options for each one is key! Whatever action a congregation chooses to undertake is the choice of their own Green Team – we stand by to support, reinforce, and make clear the choices available to you.

To date, IPC has helped 170+ congregations form a Green Team in an effort to improve the environmental health of communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These congregations have come together and collectively undertaken more than 600 actions on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay.  These have included a wide range of projects and events – tree and native species plantings, rain gardens, bioswales, cisterns & rain barrels, solar and energy conservation initiatives, advocacy campaigns, and more.  Likewise, IPC has brought together over 130 Partner Congregations from across the watershed through IPC’s Partner Congregation Pledge, demonstrating their commitment to faithful stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay. 

What does this look like in action? – Meet Ebenezer AME Church in Galesville, MD, the pilot for our CBO-CBI initiative! 

After forming a Green Team and conducting a site assessment with regional partners in Anne Arundel County, Ebenezer AME Church was able to identify a variety of ways to improve ecosystem health across their property, and how they might be able to address flooding concerns surrounding their building and adjacent cemetery.  With support, Ebenezer AME has received more than $75,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust in support of their efforts to design green infrastructure; mitigating flooding and improving habitat across their property.  As design work continues to unfold, Ebenezer AME Church focuses on educating congregation members and preparing for the work ahead in maintaining their conservation practices (tree plantings, native plantings, bioswales, and cisterns).  

Image: Concept diagram of Ebenezer AME Church highlighting different possible areas for installation of environmentally focused practices (diagram used as part of an application for concept design funding – >$75,000 awarded). 

Not everything needs to be

There are grants and support available for everyone!  In fact, Chesapeake Bay Trust has a grant track specifically designed for small-scale projects & events – awarding >$5,000. 

Not only are these funds available to you, but IPC stands ready to support your application (for ANY environmentally focused project!)  Check out some of these amazing congregational projects completed with the help of the Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant!

Image: Knox Presbyterian Church in Baltimore used their CBT mini grant funding to install a beautiful mural accompanying their native species planting!  The mural serves to remind residents of the importance of remaining connected with the natural world around us – a powerful message in urban Baltimore. 

Want to do more?

Reach out today to your IPC regional outreach coordinator and let's see how we can work together!

Bonnie Sorak
Director of Outreach
(Baltimore City & Co., Howard, Harford, & Lancaster, PA)
Taylor Swanson
Outreach Coordinator
(Anne Arundel, Charles, Queen Anne's, Kent, St. Mary's, Calvert Co.)
Mollie Rudow
Outreach Coordinator (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester, Caroline, Talbot Co.'s)
Sarah Redden
Outreach Coordinator
(Montgomery, Frederick, Prince George's Co.'s, DMV)

There are more than 19,000 congregations across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

Imagine the potential if we all came together!