“How many of you have planted a tree?” asked camp leader Ron Oostra.
Some of the 15 children in grades three through five had, but all were eager to try it on the fourth and final day of Creation Care Camp at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa.
The camp was the winning idea in the U.S. from the first annual $500 “Green Congregation” grant awarded by the Christian Reformed Church.
In Canada, Houston (British Columbia) CRC won a grant for their community garden where refugees, single parents, and others in the neighborhood can grow vegetables for their families.
The camp at Covenant CRC focused on caring for the soil, discovering the value of trees, and learning about organic gardening. “Students learned that the choices we make affect climate change,” said Matt Drissell, who co-directed the camp with Becky Drissell.
Children learned that trees provide shade, protection from wind, paper, homes for animals, and beauty. Students eagerly participated in tree identification and the planting of a new tree.
Dozens of churches submitted plans for Green Congregation grants. Proposals were judged on their ability to be replicated, environmental impact, potential for congregational and community transformation, and creativity.
Seymour CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich., was awarded $200 to expand an ecumenical partnership with two other churches to develop an inner-city garden club. And Third CRC in Lynden, Wash., was awarded $200 to expand its organic community garden.
The deadline for applications for the 2010 Green Congregation grants is Nov. 1.
Green Grants 2010
To apply for a grant, please fill out the application from the Office of Social Justice at: http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_greengrantapp.cfm.