As IPC’s One Water Partnership program grows, so too does the impact we’re having on the health of the bay and local waterways. Great examples of this can be seen in projects moving forward at congregations in Wicomico and Baltimore Counties.

This past year, congregations in all three of these regions were blessed to receive grant money from the Chesapeake Bay Trust in support of creation care work on their campuses. 

In Wicomico County, St. Peter’s Episcopal Episcopal Church in Salisbury was recently  the recipient of a $64,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust that will support efforts to remove impervious blacktop parking surfaces on their property and replace them with pervious surfaces. The installation of these pervious surfaces will allow rainwater to percolate through the ground in a natural way, rather than rush directly into the Wicomico River carrying sediment and other pollutants that degrade water quality. The grant will also fund native landscaping around the new parking surface to improve habitat for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Funding for the project was provided to Chesapeake Bay Trust through the City of Salisbury’s Stormwater Maintenance Fee, which provided $75,000 to Chesapeake Bay Trust for this year’s Outreach and Restoration Grant program. 

“We feel blessed to be able to do our part to care for Creation here on our campus,” said Sharon Clark, a member of St. Peter’s and leader of the congregation’s green team. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the One Water Partnership program,” Clark added.

The One Water Partnership’s goal is to work on a local level to connect faith institutions with resources and provide assistance to congregations in developing environmental programming and restoration projects.  

In 2019, The Lower Shore Land Trust worked with St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury through the One Water Partnership to secure grant funding to install a native pollinator meadow and rainwater cistern that will capture water from the congregation’s roof and divert it to the garden planting. The Lower Shore Land Trust also played an integral role in securing funding for the St. Peter’s project as well. 

“Working with the faith communities of the Lower Shore on these types of restoration projects is just such a unique way of advancing our mission,” said Kate Patton, Executive Director of the Lower Shore Land Trust, a partner working with IPC in Wicomico County.   

Meanwhile, In Baltimore County, Towson Presbyterian Church was pleased to recently learn that they received a Chesapeake Bay Trust Watershed Assistance Grant of $35,509 that will aid in the design process for two rain gardens and a cistern system that will reduce stormwater runoff and pollution from our church building and parking lot. 

“We are incredibly excited by this project at Towson Presbyterian,” said Pastor Joel Strom from Towson Presbyterian Church. “We hope it will serve as inspiration for other congregations to get involved as well. We’re just getting started,” Strom added.

Inspiration is indeed being shared. IPC is currently working with several other congregations in both Baltimore and Wicomico One Water Partnership regions in support of future projects. 

If you would like to learn more about the One Water Partnership or how your congregation can be supported in designing and installing a restoration project, please contact us at [email protected].