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|Issue #58 "Rain Wise" ||September 17, 2012|
All of us -- thank God -- have a watershed to call home. The health of our watersheds is vital to the health of every animal, plant, and human who lives within a particular watershed's embrace. For the sake of healthy watersheds and the lives they support, it's time to prepare for excess* precipitation that this season brings to the PNW. When it comes to "stormwater runoff," the Center for Watershed Protection
(CWP) offers these insights:
"Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the land surface. The addition of roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops and other surfaces that prevent water from soaking into the ground to our landscape greatly increases the runoff volume created during storms. This runoff is swiftly carried to our local streams, lakes, wetlands and rivers and can cause flooding and erosion, and wash away important habitat for critters that live in the stream. Stormwater runoff also pick
s up and carries with it many different pollutants that are found on paved surfaces such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides and metals. It comes as no surprise then that stormwater runoff is the number one cause of stream impairment in urban areas."
According to the CWP, water quality begins to degrade when 10 percent of the watershed contains impervious surfaces
. Think about your own home or church grounds: what percentage of the land is covered by impervious pavement, rooftops, roads...?
This current issue of Creation-Care, 365
is inspired by one church -- Trinity United Methodist
(Seattle) -- who has taken great steps to make sure that this season's precipitation is more of a blessing than a curse to God's waterways and groundwater. Wherever you live in the PNW -- in a western "rainshadow" or on the drier "East side" -- may this issue help you prepare for the coming season.
Grace and Peace be with you,
Creation-Care Project Coordinator
PNW Office of Connectional Ministries
*The use of the word "excess" is a recognition of the increasing impacts of global climate change in the PNW; for example, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service states, "Changes in temperature and precipitation will continue to decrease snow pack, and will affect stream flow and water quality throughout the Pacific Northwest region. Warmer temperatures will result in more winter precipitation falling as rain rather than snow throughout much of the Pacific Northwest, particularly in mid-elevation basins where average winter temperatures are near freezing."
(from verses 5, 7, 9-13)
In a worship setting, may be read or sung responsively
God, you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
| Tools for Renewal|
|Water Stewards: A Toolkit for Congregational Care of Local Watersheds
From National Council of Churches, Eco-Justice Program
"The purpose of this Water Stewards
guide is to provide Christian communities with a simple manual that suggests ways to contribute to watershed protection. In this guide we provide tips and resources to enable your congregation to discuss what wise choices and positive actions you can make to help restore your watershed for this generation and those to come."
In addition to resources for worship and education, this FREE guide contains practical help like: "Build a Simple Garden," "Control Stormwater and Green the Landscape," and much more.
|Small Steps... for Greater Good|
From the City of Seattle's Rainwise web site
"When the land that is present day Seattle [and other parts of the western PNW] was a forest, falling rain was slowed by needles and leaves, and slowly soaked into spongy soils held together by the roots of trees and understory plants.
"Now, rain that falls on our roofs, roads, driveways and compacted soils collects quickly, then runs off down ditches and pipes. During big rain storms this 'storm water' can back up and flood homes, cause sewer overflows, and erode hillsides and stream banks. It also carries dirt, oil and metals from cars, lawn chemicals, cleaners and pet waste into Seattle's salmon- spawning streams and swimming beaches.
"We can all slow the flow and help to clean the rain runoff from our homes by taking simple steps that make our home landscapes act more like a forest.
Visit the City of Seattle's Rainwise site to learn more about runoff solutions from roof, paved, or yard areas in your home and church.
|Some excellent on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:|
|Events & Actions|
|Autumn 2012 |
- September 22 (Seattle, WA): "Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting the Wild within to the Wild without" retreat
- September 23 (Seattle, WA): Fauntleroy Church UCC's "Recycle Roundup"
- September 30 (Seattle, WA): Trinity UMC's Rain Garden Celebration
- October 4 (Seattle, WA): University Temple UMC/Common Good Cafe's "Leaps and Bounds" eco-justice performance by Tevyn East
- October 4 (Seattle, WA): Earth Ministry's Celebration of St. Francis, "Hope, Anger, and Courage: Faithful Witness in a World of Climate Change"
- Monday evenings, October 8, 15, & 22 (Seattle, WA): University Temple UMC's film-discussion series on "The Great Global Warming Swindle" with Mike Wallace
- October 13 (Seattle, WA): Earth Ministry's Eco-Justice Colleague Consultation
- October 15: Deadline for Cool Congregations Challenge, 2012 entries
- October 16-18 (near Port Orchard, WA): Environmental Justice Workshop
|Trinity UMC, Seattle |
From press release: "Celebration Planned for Installation of City's [Seattle] Largest Rain Garden"
Photos by Mary Beth Lambert
"The installation of the city's largest non-residential rain garden will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting and blessing on Sunday, September 30th  at 1:00pm at Trinity Unity Methodist Church, 6512 23rd Avenue NW, in Ballard. All are welcome.
"The Trinity rain garden, designed by Back To Nature Design, LLC, will infiltrate rain water from 5,000 square feet of roof area, 2700 square feet larger than the city's largest residential rain garden. The rain garden includes native, food-producing plants and trees, as well as a rain water cistern for irrigating the church garden.
"'Part of the mission of Trinity United Methodist Church is to be an advocate for social justice issues. Our Judeo-Christian tradition teaches us to be caretakers of the earth and in Seattle that means caring for our streams and Puget Sound,' says Pastor Kathleen Weber. 'Installing a rain garden is the perfect reminder of our commitment to environmental justice and sustainability.'
"The Seattle Public Utilities started the RainWise Program two years ago to combat excess storm water which can flood homes, cause sewer overflows, and erode hillsides and streambanks, says Bob Spencer, RainWise Program Manager. Rain gardens capture and clean rain runoff that falls on roofs, driveways and other hard surfaces which can carry pollutants into local creeks, Lake Washington, and the Puget Sound.
"'The city is pleased that Trinity United Methodist Church has chosen to participate in the RainWise program on such a grand scale. We look forward to installing more installations like it across Seattle,' says Spencer.
"Currently, residents living in the Ballard, Windermere, Delridge, and North Union Bay CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) basins are eligible to participate in the RainWise Program. Residents of these areas can receive rebates covering most of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern. Plans are underway to expand the RainWise program during 2013 to eleven additional areas, increasing to 45,000 the number of rain garden eligible households in Seattle."