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Restoring Your Congregation’s Grounds: The Benefits of Creating a Sustainable Habitat Landscape

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March 23rd, 2019
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Church of the Apostles
1850 Marietta Ave
Lancaster, PA, 17603, United States

Led by Linda Ferich and Mary Lou Weaver Houser, with testimony from local church members and a short documentary by Natural Light Films.

Attention gardeners, groundskeepers, trustees, and leaders:

Beautify your congregation’s grounds with a certified, natural habitat that celebrates all the diversity of God’s stunning creation. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Garden for Wildlife program, Sacred Grounds, offers congregations, houses of worship, and faith communities concrete ways to link faith practices with caring for the environment.

In this three-hour Sacred Grounds seminar, attendees will learn simple steps your faith community can take to:

  • Attract and feed our diminishing bird/insect species
  • Reduce lawn and lawn maintenance costs
  • Improve air quality by planting more trees
  • Teach all generations ways to care for our challenged environment
  • Integrate habitat awareness into religious activities
  • Discuss ways to eradicate invasive/exotic species of trees, shrubs, and flowers
  • Provide spaces for families to be in the out-of-doors with a simple picnic area, playground, or a memorial or prayer retreat garden
  • Address water quality and storm water runoff
  • Connect these practices to the greater community

Local members of the NWF Habitat Stewards, in partnership with the Lancaster County Conservancy, are sponsors and consultants for this workshop. Representatives from a few other local congregations which are taking steps toward certification will also be present to talk about their process.

Your congregation can benefit no matter what size property you have or its location.  Every small step toward creating a native habitat matters.


Linda Ferich became a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist volunteer after retiring from nursing. She enjoys studying native plants and designing ecological gardens. She has taken courses at the Mt. Cuba Center, a botanical garden in Hockessin, Delaware, and will be attending the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional certification course in February 2019. As a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward, Linda coordinates the Lancaster Conservancy Community Wildlife Habitat. She attends Lord’s House of Prayer.

Mary Lou Weaver Houser is an artist, spiritual director, native-plant gardener/community organizer, lay-historian and educator. She and her husband Rod operated Herrbrook Farm Retreat, a facility for personal spiritual renewal, for 23 years before moving into Lancaster City (PA) in 2011. She has undergraduate certification in English and art education and a Master’s in Holistic Spirituality and Spiritual Direction from Chestnut Hill College, Chestnut Hill (PA). Mary Lou is active in leadership at the Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster where she co-directs the Parrot Gallery. She also coordinated design/maintenance of the church’s green parking lot rain gardens.

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