On Saturday June 4th, Project Eden will lead in the planting of the third and final phase of the land adjacent to pond on the front of Grace Community Church’s 146th street campus in Noblesville. Like phase one and two, the 1/3-acre restoration area will involve eliminating the existing lawn grass and replacing it with a diverse mix of over 25 native species of grasses, wildflowers and wetland plants. The project will consist of planting both seed and live plant plugs to provide for both an immediate establishment of native vegetation as well as long-term vegetative succession.
Although we did have some people in the community question why we would kill off an established lawn when we did phase one, the project has been well received after the success of our plantings and communication on the benefits of the project. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but it is hard for anyone to deny the attractiveness of the planting in the growing season with the thousands of wildflowers blooming along the main entrance into Grace Church. Additionally, the unmowed and unfertilized buffer around the pond has numerous environmental and economic benefits including habitat for birds, butterflies and pollinating insects, reduced chemical inputs to the landscape, reduced nutrients in the pond from fertilizer, elimination of annual mowing requirements and improved soil health.
The mission of Project Eden is to reconnect people with the creation and to restore broken ecosystems and the pond project at Grace incorporates all components of this mission. By bringing volunteers together we reconnect people with the land and each other while restoring an ecologically broken landscape. Although there is certainly a place for lawns in our landscapes, they are inherently highly manicured landscapes, requiring high chemical and mechanical inputs to maintain. Additionally, they are basically ecological deserts, offering virtually no habitat to the biodiversity God has blessed us with.
Please come out on Saturday, June 4th to learn more about native plants and help us complete this fun and exciting project. We will finish before noon and you can enjoy getting in the dirt, meeting people who love God and seeing the fruits of your labor for years to come as our project matures each year. More details and register here.
When driving into Grace last summer, I was rewarded with a blue heron flying over our habitat, probably searching for a frog to eat in the enhanced habitat we established. I think God was telling me “well done” by sending the heron just as I drove by.