I remember meadows with Monarch butterflies in my childhood. We don’t see so many anymore. The use of pesticides and the eradication of milkweed, thistle, and other plants Monarchs feed on has drastically reduced the population of this magnificent insect.
At Redeemer, we are very aware of the environment. Our 10-acre property lies near the headwaters of Plaster Creek, one of the most polluted creeks in Michigan. Area farms have added chemicals and run off from animal waste. The replacement of native prairie plants by short-rooted lawn grasses in area developments and parks has contributed to the erosion of the creek bank and added silt to the water.
Our partnership with Plaster Creek Stewards (from Calvin College) and the Sacred Grounds program of the National Wildlife Federation seeks to boost our knowledge about and commitment to reversing the destruction of our environment. With the help of some Calvin students, we created a rain garden in one of our drainage areas in September 2018. We will be doing a larger rain garden in different drainage area in 2019. Our longer-term plans include replacing invasive trees with native trees and clearing the undergrowth from the woods in the back of our property. After the trees and bushes there have been identified, we hope to put in a handicap-accessible trail that the whole neighborhood can use.
Give us a call if you are interested in helping with either of these projects! Many hands will be needed.