Today we went to our monthly A Rocha meeting. A Rocha is the conservation group that we are part of with five other families here in Nashville. Our plan is to make manageable changes to our backyards to restore biodiversity. At our meeting today, we talked about rain gardens. The girls are helping to build a rain garden in our own yard.
When it rains in urban or suburban areas, the clean precipitation hits our roofs and streets and becomes contaminated with chemicals. The storm water runs down our streets, into our storm drains, and eventually into the rivers and oceans where it deposits these chemicals and pollutes the water.
A rain garden catches this water and soaks it into the earth, where the soil naturally filters the water. A rain garden is made of native plants (that means plants that grow naturally in a given area) that have long roots to soak up all of that storm water. Native plants with long roots can soak up several times the amount of water that a suburban lawn can. I would LOVE it if we eliminated lawns and everyone just let native grasses grow. That would be a beautiful and low-maintenance (no more mowing!) solution to the alarming amount of pollution caused both by storm run-off, and lawn fertilizer.
However, I realize that not everyone is going to agree to give up their lawn. Planting a rain garden is a way that one person can make a huge difference. I will probably write more about this in the future, but for now, if you ever have any questions about rain gardens, please ask me and I will tell you what I know or direct you to people who know more than I do.
In Nashville, the Cumberland River Compact will GIVE YOU 25 FREE plants and/or trees to get you started with your own rain garden. They will even come out and show you where to plant them.
These are some photos of rain gardens. Aren’t they beautiful?
“Creation Care,” or “Earth Stewardship,” is an important part of our life as well as our homeschool curriculum. We take care of the things God made because He values them; He created them and called them good.
It is also loving to our neighbor–what we do “upstream” impacts people downstream. Our pollution is often another person’s (sometimes life or work-threatening) problem.
The earth displays God’s glory, and it is only ours to steward–not to devastate. I pray that we are responsible with all of the resources God gives us: time, money, love…
And also, His creation.
Tonight after a full day, the girls still wanted to climb trees. I caught Sera staring up and out over our little valley. Entranced. Caught up in the Glory of God.
I followed her gaze…
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.