The Diocese’s Creation Care Task Committee to promote and assist parishes with environmental sustainability and responsibility in our faith communities and neighborhoods. As part of this undertaking, the Task Force discerned a call for the diocese to take part in the world Communion Forest initiative and as a first step in participating in the initiative, introduced the resolution “On Planting Trees to Celebrate Special Occasion” at the 2023 Diocesan Convention inviting parishes to plant and care for trees to commemorate birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and in honor of loved ones.
While our diocese is located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area with two beautiful river systems, our geography covers a range of urban, suburban, and rural parishes with vastly different local conditions. Because of this geographic diversity, our churches need flexibility to adapt Creation Care ministries to their unique local conditions. The Communion Forest initiative gives individual congregations opportunities to follow their hearts, feeding birds and animals under great pressure from city and suburban encroachment, planting fruit trees and bushes to supplement existing food banks with fresh produce, and mitigating the world’s most devastating losses of trees, forests and wildlife.
The Creation Care Committee shares the below resources to assist parishes in their Communion Forest efforts. Please reach out the Creation Care Committee if you have questions or would like to learn more.
The world Communion Forest initiative is a global call to action in response to biodiversity loss, human suffering, economic instability, and social inequity. The Task Force believes this project will inspire our parishes to develop ministries that protect and restore local habitat, and encourage parishes to love and pray for all God’s creation.
- Celebrate a Season of Creation using these liturgical resources
- Casey Trees – Plant trees to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of Washington, DC
- Ward 8 Woods – Volunteer to care for wooded areas in Ward 8 of Washington, DC
- Anacostia Watershed Society – Volunteer with Anacostia Watershed Society to do stream cleanups, freshwater mussel surveys, and care for groves of native trees
- Plant Nova Natives – Learn how to acquire and plant native trees
- Tree Montgomery – Get free shade trees in Montgomery county
- Arbor Day Foundation – Plant a tree in celebration of life milestones. Great for planting trees remotely.
- Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay – Plant trees and work for clean water locally.
- Sustainable Villages Honduras – One example of an international tree planting effort
- Prince’s George’s Proud – Resources for tree planting and gardening in Prince George’s County
- Chesapeake Bay Trust: Charles County Forestry – Resources for tree planting in Charles County
- Tree Growing for Conservation and Ecosystem Restoration: A Guide for Faith-Based Actors – The United Nations’ 6-step blueprint for faith-based tree growing
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Maryland Forest Service Tree-Mendous Maryland
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Backyard Buffer Program
- National Arboretum – Provides public education programs, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations; plant, flower, and art exhibitions; interpretive brochures
- Groundswell – 501c3 enables equitable community solar projects, serving more than 5,500 income-qualified customers
- Clagett Farm – A community supported agriculture 238 acre farm in Prince George’s County, donating 30% of the harvest to Capital Area Food Bank and Prince George’s County Food Rescue. Volunteers can work to care for and help harvest crops
- Interfaith partners for the Chesapeake – Volunteer projects, walks, Green Team training, creation care resources
Where can I find reliable information on locally native trees and plants to support wildlife?
- Your state Native Plant Society and its local chapters
- The National Wildlife Federation’s national native plant finder
- Many Cooperative Extension and Land Grant Universities offer science-based information. Search “native trees/plants site.edu” or contact your local Master Gardener chapters. Some jurisdictions host “Tree Stewards” who can be helpful sources for education & plant material.