Just up the street the Presbyterian church has a fabulous message on it's marquee: Go Green it's Stewardship. Amen, "or so say we all."
At some point we're all going to have to take a closer look at how we manage our
space and question responsibility. It would be wonderful if all the churches would tear out their
parking lots, which contribute greatly to the heat island effect and replace the non permeable surface with interesting permeable alternatives. Some of the choices are just stunning, the honeycomb patterned bricks, breathable concrete with all sorts of patterns, the possibilities are tremendous. Flat topped churches could consider roof gardens, which is becoming standard for new construction in some cities and at the very least, a water collection system!
Another exciting idea for the Church space is to get certified as a wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. To do so you only need a few elements present in your yard/property... food: in the form of native plants for berries, pollen, seeds etc. water: some kind of water feature from a birdbath to a pond, cover: evergreen shrubbery, rock and wood piles for insects and small animals to hide, and a place to raise young: hatching boxes, nests, dense shrubs. Right now the city of Austin is trying to become the first city in Texas to become certified as a Wildlife Habitat and we're trying to make Crestview the first neighborhood. In this months CNA newspaper there is an article by our local Wildlife Steward who is willing to help assist you in the process or you can simply go to www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife for more information, the application and to get the ball rolling! It's an easy process if you already have
the necessary elements.
Or, how about creating a butterfly garden? What better way to spark interest in the natural world for children? It's as easy as googling "plants that attract butterflies" cross reference with our native and adaptive plant guide to be sure you've got something that can withstand Texas heat. Butterflies appreciate flat rocks to rest on and shallow drinking ponds like the ones created in shallow depressions and rocks with holes. Add some seating for folks to relax and appreciate the beauty!
I'm going to make these kids some fudge...they are doing a good thing! Make sure you give 'em a thumbs up when you pass, it's just neighborly!