What happened at Saint Luke's?
This month, faithful leaders and green team members alike gathered for a special exploration of the Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Eastport’s “Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance”. A $1,200,000 stream restoration project, which has helped to bring life, vitality, and health to a once neglected waterway.
This event was hosted in partnership with your Anne Arundel - One Water Partnership (OWP) team. The One Water Partnership is a growing network of faith communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed coming together to care for local waterways in their own communities. Here in Anne Arundel, this partnership is joined by the Anne Arundel - Watershed Stewards Academy and Interfaith Power & Light DMV. Together our work through the OWP helps support congregational “Green Teams” of all faiths across Anne Arundel county.
In fact, this restoration practice at Saint Luke’s Episcopal would not be possible without our partner Watershed Stewards Academy. Originally initiated by 2014 WSA Steward Academy graduate Betsy Love as a capstone project to her training. Now complete, the "Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance" at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Eastport is one of Annapolis Cities finest examples of urban green stormwater management infrastructure. Covering just 3 of the campuses total 4 acres, the multi-tiered stormwater management system is highly efficient; helping to control the speed and filtration of more than 20 acres of urban drainage (see site plan below).
The restoration practice is complex, but its idea is simple. Slow over-land water flow, and allow water to percolate and filter through the ground. This process is among the most effective way to manage the pollutant load of urban runoff, aiding in the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus, and settling of sediment particulates, before they could arrive in the Chesapeake Bay. These nutrients are in-turn used by the plants and animals who call this restoration site home. Hawks, frogs, butterflies, and a bounty of woodland-bird songs all graced our presence for this intimate exploration. Creatures who now depend on the restoration for home and health.
Interested in learning more about the restoration practice? Check out this write-up on the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church website! Read HERE.
Above: Drawn site plans from Underwood & Associates for the proposed and installed Stormwater Regenerative Conveyance at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Eastport, MD.
Projects like this can’t happen alone. They don’t just take a village...they take a congregation! We’d like to thank all of these amazing partners for their help in supporting this incredible environmental endeavor and act of service. Thank you.
*The Restoration was made possible by: Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, and Chesapeake Bay Trust. It was designed and constructed by Underwood & Associates. The environmental learning center is funded by the United Thank Offering, a mission organization within the Episcopal Church. Contributing grantors and sponsors include: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Annapolis Subaru, Watergate Pointe, Severn River Association, Back Creek Conservancy, Maryland Environmental Trust, Unity Gardens, and donations from community businesses, neighbors, and church members.
What's happening now at St. Luke's?
The efforts at Saint Luke’s continue under the watchful eye of their active Green Team. Want to learn more about forming your own Green Team and taking on environmental action at your own congregation? This 3-part training will help to give you and your team the tools to go forth and become stewards of your own community. More than 120 congregations have now registered and taken the program, helping to go forth and initiate more than 600 programs, events, and projects across the Chesapeake. Join them and help us continue this faithful-environmental movement!
Read more and register your team today for Faithful Green Leaders Training.
The work at Saint Luke’s continues, who along with Stillmeadow Community Fellowship in Baltimore, have partnered with Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and IPC for an exciting educational effort to create citizen science opportunities to engage their respective communities on issues like climate change, wildlife diversity, and other STEM opportunities. These efforts will not only provide valuable data in regards to restoration-practice efforts, but will help to engage local community members of all ages on the importance and value of restoration work.
We are so thankful for our partnership with Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, thank you from all of us at the Anne Arundel - One Water Partnership for everything you do! Want to get involved, reach out to [email protected] to learn more.
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