Local Projects: The Piedmont Patch in Chapel Hill, NC

This week’s ECN local-project spotlight features the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill, NC.

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According to a church press release, Church of the Advocate received two grants totaling $9,600 “to support the education, communication and digital resources production efforts of the Piedmont Patch project expansion of food production.”

What is the Piedmont Patch? Per the Church of the Advocate’s website, the project’s goal is “to restore native flora and fauna displaced by the rapid urbanization surrounding the property, and to cultivate keepers of Creation.”

In 2017, the Episcopal Church approved 44 Stewardship of Creation grants for local ministries. Every Thursday, we highlight some of that exciting work here, like The Advocate’s project in North Carolina. Maybe your own parish or diocese could do something similar with its land!

“We imagine the Advocate Pond and grounds enriched with diverse well-adapted native plants that will attract and nurture an array of wildlife, including butterflies, bees, birds, frogs, turtles, and small mammals. Surrounded by rapid urbanization, the Church of the Advocate’s acreage can serve as a sanctuary for homeless wildlife increasingly displaced by bulldozers, asphalt, and concrete. Over time, such native plantings require less maintenance than traditional ornamental plantings, most of which do not meet the needs of native wildlife.

“The project has an educative component, engaging school children and graduate students and inviting all who are responsible for patches of Piedmont land to learn how to create vibrant native sanctuaries that serve rather than harm God’s creation. Ideally, we can lead other congregations and other neighborhoods to adopt this concept of native sanctuaries, building refuges of hope for native wildlife and havens of peace and beauty for humans one patch of piedmont (and beyond!) at a time. The Project will also include education on invasive exotic species and their removal — why it is important, how it contributes to sustainability.” Thank you, Church of the Advocate!

Learn more at https://piedmontpatch.org.

The picture comes from The Advocate’s website. Full disclosure: ECN’s new volunteer deputy editor was a member of the committee that awarded these grants. Both volunteer editors are now volunteers on the task force that will administer the next round of grants.

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