Care for Creation
What does it mean to be a wise steward of God’s creation and to deepen one’s commitment to practices and attitudes that promote care for creation? Most people are likely to be surprised and intrigued by the Church’s teaching on creation and the environment. It is likely to show them the beauty and wonder of the Church’s concern for all things that are genuinely human (see Gaudium et Spes, 1). It may lead faithful Catholics to a deeper appreciation of Church teaching and may lead those on the fringes and those who are indifferent to look anew at the Church.
Mt. Olivet Rain Garden Project
The rain garden at Mount Olivet Cemetery in northeast Washington is a green infrastructure located in the historic
85-acre cemetery that is thought to be the first collaboration of its kind between an environmental conservation organization and the Catholic Church to address the challenge of urban stormwater pollution. The project is especially unique because the site generates Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs) that are being sold on the District of Columbia’s SRC credit market.
The new green infrastructure will capture stormwater that would otherwise flow off cemetery roads and into Hickey Run, one of the tributaries of the Anacostia River. More than three billion gallons of stormwater runoff and sewage flow into D.C.’s local rivers each year, making it the fastest growing source of water pollution both in the Chesapeake Bay and worldwide. By replacing or retrofitting primarily unused access roads within the historic cemetery with water-retaining green infrastructure such as grass, flower beds, shrubs and trees, Mount Olivet Cemetery has already significantly reduced its impervious surface area.
The green infrastructure site also generates Stormwater Retention Credits (SRC) that are being sold on the District of Columbia’s SRC credit market that has been set up by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment. The credit program allows private developers to meet a portion of their stormwater retention requirements through projects that retain stormwater elsewhere in the city. For more information on the Stormwater Retention Market and the financing of the project at Mount Olivet Cemetery, please visit: http://www.naturevesttnc.org/business-lines/green-infrastructure/dc-green-infrastructure/
Find more information on this partnership here:
- Cardinal Wuerl’s Blog post
- The Nature Conservancy CEO, Mark Tercek’s Blog
- The Catholic Standard: Cardinal blesses Mount Olivet green infrastructure project designed to ‘protect God’s magnificent creation’
Visit the Laudato Si page for more information on Care for Our Common Home.