Work, Eat, Pray

Several locations benefit from regular Habitat Restoration care by dedicated groups of willing hands — most led by PA IPL Board President Greg Williams.  Look for “work party” offerings on our Events Calendar, or email to get on Greg’s lists (he turns out events faster than the deskbound can keep up during the growing season!) — or to learn from him about how to organize something like this in your community, or near your house of worship.  

Recently three Episcopal Churches in Blair and Huntingdon counties joined together to create a workparty to remove invasive plants and encourage resilient natives along a nearby rail trail, — and to also shared meal, and share an evening prayer service.  We got a great report from Greg, and learned that one participant referred to the event in her next-Sunday sermon.  Enjoy the report, below!  

Members of St. Luke’s, Altoona,  Holy Trinity, Hollidaysburg,  and St. John’s, Huntingdon,  all Episcopal Churches from Blair and Huntingdon counties met on Thursday August 16, from 4-7:30 p.m.,  with several goals in mind:

  • To give these parishes a chance to work together and better get to know each other,
  • To make a public statement that the Episcopal Church cares about climate change and our churches are making a long term commitment to do something about it,
  • To WORK for a couple hours removing  non-native invasive plants from the Mt. Etna station area on the Lower Trail with the goal of returning next Spring and planting native plants that will better support insects, the base of a healthy ecosystem. This healthier ecosystem protects the river, feeds toads (like this one who showed up to encourage us), cleans our air, and takes carbon from our atmosphere thus nudging us away from global warming,
  • To EAT, (as is appropriate at any church event) a delicious potluck picnic, chat, and build community,
  • To PRAY Evening Prayer, at dusk, as the storm clouds which had been building but not raining on our event, called an end to the event.

We had 11 joyous participants ranging from 7 to 70 who rode bikes, clipped privet from the safety of the trail, waded in behind the stinging nettle to open up new areas for planting native trees next Spring, or scooped up the clippings and laid them back in the forest to decompose and feed the soil.

There was talk that we may do it again, as early as October, perhaps with the addition of a VIP! Stay tuned for details. For more information, to sign up your faith community for a similar work party, or to get on our mailing list for future events, contact  Greg Williams, organizer of the event and member of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.