The goals of the Environmental Committee are to work toward “greening” our church properties so that St. Anne’s Parish may set an example for our neighbors here in Annapolis as well as our parishioners; to provide information and opportunities for our parishioners to become more aware of the environmental issues affecting our area; and to encourage our parishioners to take a more active role in protecting our local environment.
To these ends, in 2011, our committee with help from the Spa Creek Conservancy and funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, installed rain gardens, rain barrels and an in-ground foundation storm water planters around our parish house. These changes have reduced the storm water runoff from our parish house by 60% and have demonstrated what can be done in small urban areas when environmentally conscience groups come together to help clean the water of the Chesapeake Bay.
Church and parish house lighting:
The lantern lights that we have installed in the nave and the narthex are lit by compact and globe-shaped fluorescents, which provide more light than incandescent bulbs at 60% savings in energy cost. They also release less heat thus reducing our air conditioning costs in the summertime.
Spring Plant Sale
Since 2011, we have held a spring plant sale to help fund upkeep on our rain gardens and other ministry projects. Our plants come from parishioners and the Horticultural Society of Annapolis, which donates plants not sold at the Riva Farmers’ Market the day before. In turn, we offer the plants to our parishioners in exchange for a donation.
Chesapeake Interfaith Environmental Group
St. Anne’s was a founding member of the Chesapeake Interfaith Environmental Group (CIEG), which worked closely with other denominations in the area to promote a culture of caring for our local environment. Each year we help sponsor an Earth Day Festival at the Annapolis Towne Centre and an event with our children to help them understand our interdependence with nature.
Maryland Episcopal Environmental Parishes
We continue to be an active Annapolis member of the Maryland Episcopal Environmental Parishes (MEEP) and support the ongoing projects of St. Margaret’s, St. Luke’s and St. Philip’s parishes. We were in attendance when Bishop Knudsen helped to break ground on St. Luke’s massive water mitigation project in Eastport.
The Environmental Ministry encourages our parishioners to recycle and compost when appropriate. Our church hospitality committee has begun using compostable cups, plates and utensils at our big parish events and the parish tries to recycle all paper and plastic products. In partnership with RECORK , parishioners are encouraged to bring in natural corks from wine bottles and place them in our box at the front door of the parish house. The corks are then sent to Oregon where they are made into floors, shoe soles and yoga blocks. We collect used eyeglasses and cell phones for recycling as well.
What does the future hold?
Over the last several years, the Environmental Ministry has been cutting back invasive ivy from the grave markers at our St. Anne’s Cemetery as well as the ivy that grows up the beautiful old trees that grace our churchyard. This is an ongoing project as the ivy will eventually degrade the stones in the cemetery and kill the trees.