“Preparing for Earth Day”
Menu for Action
Grant & Project Opportunities
Advocacy Opportunities
State of the Bay Report

Preparing for Earth Day

I find relief in seeing the ground covered with snow. It represents a time to slow down, time to cocoon inside, time to prepare for the thaw. For Christians, Lent is right around the corner - a time to reflect and reconcile. People of Bahá'í faith will fast for 19 days in March as a time of spiritual preparation for the new year's activities (their new year begins at the end of the fasting period). Jews purge their homes of anything leavened in preparation for Passover - a true Spring Cleaning!

We are united in the way that the seasons and our faith traditions draw us into a preparation period during winter. The cold deep freeze is officially upon us. Let us regroup indoors and prepare for our emergence in the spring!

To help you prepare for your emergence in the spring, IPC is excited to share a new resource we call Menu for Action. This is a vast library that offers ideas for reducing your water footprint, reflection studies, resources to engage in legislative advocacy, and much more. Even though IPC has built the library, it’s designed to be a living document - meaning you, too, can email us your suggestions and we can update it in real time!

You can access the Menu for Action by using this link. We encourage you to browse this as you prepare for Earth Day, World Water Day, or your religious renewal periods.

2015 promises to be an exciting year for the Creation Care movement. Roman Catholic Pope Francis promises to release his encyclical on climate change and ecology. New York has banned fracking, and a movement is building in Maryland around a long-term moratorium on fracking. Bag bills, styrofoam bans and stormwater management programs are emerging in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware as the public discourse demanding sustainable behavior influences legislature.

IPC wants to support you and help you lead others with more ease. Together, we can bring about a healing of Creation - and this winter is our chance to prepare for that work!

Thank you for all you do!

Jodi Rose
Executive Director

Menu for Action

This is a tremendous resource that is well-organized, searchable, and will be updated regularly. Please check it out and tell us what you think. And, if you have resources to add, let us know so together we can all help each other!

Grant & Project Opportunities

Maryland Statewide - Funds have been secured for tree-plantings throughout Maryland in 2015 on large properties (we are still waiting to hear back on grant applications for tree plantings on smaller properties). We are looking to partner with faith-based property owners with land capable of large plantings (300+ trees). Retreat centers, cemeteries, schools/universities are examples of suitable properties. Please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] if you want to partner on this effort.

Baltimore City - The Baltimore Energy Initiative (BEI) Loan Program provides low-interest loans to congregations in Baltimore City to help reduce their carbon footprint. Learn more about this on January 27th, 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM at Govans Presbyterian Church, 5828 York Road.

Baltimore City - Thanks to $750,000 in new funding from MD DNR Trust Fund, congregations participating in the Blue Water Congregations program can receive facilitated guidance and financial support for stormwater projects on their properties. We will continue to accept congregations into this program through Spring 2016. Please contact Bonnie Sorak for more information [email protected] 

Anne Arundel County
 - Unity Gardens is offering grants up to $1,000 for nonprofits in greening projects and environmental education. Applications are due March 15th. More information at or contact [email protected], 410 703-7530.

Anne Arundel County - Watershed Restoration Grants are available for nonprofits. Attend an informational class about this grant program: January 21st at 6:30 pm at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center.

Anne Arundel County - Forestry and Greening Program is a grant offered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Applications are due March 5th. Visit CBT’s website for more information. 

Anne Arundel County - A grant writing workshop will be hosted on Feb. 4th at Mount Olive AME Church, 2 Hicks Avenue, Annapolis, 7-9 pm. For more information, visit

Charles County - Chesapeake Bay Trust is offering grants up to $20,000 in Charles County for increasing forestry on nonprofit and community sites. 

Advocacy Opportunities

Energy Usage in Maryland - Help pass legislation in 2015 to DOUBLE the electricity Maryland gets from wind and solar power. Join activists on the first day of the legislative session, January 14th 10:30-noon at Lawyer's Mall, 100 State Street, Annapolis, to voice your support. RSVP here

Montgomery County, MD Considers Ban of Lawn Pesticides - Lawn pesticides drift, pollute our common air, and run-off into our waterways and drinking water sources. Find out more about a ban in the County to restrict the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides: Public hearing occurs Jan. 15th at 7:30pm.

Trash-Free Maryland - This week the USEPA mandated that Baltimore City and Baltimore County clean up trash that makes its way to the Baltimore Harbor. Over the next 5 year years, these jurisdictions will need to ramp up efforts remove 50,000 lbs. of trash from Baltimore waterways each year. Stay up-to-date on this project as well as several other Styrofoam bans, bag bills, and bottle bills throughout Maryland and DC on the Trash-Free Maryland website. 

State of the Bay Report

The 2014 State of the Bay Report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been issued, and can be reviewed here. 

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