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Nicodemus Wilderness Project


NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Versailles
Posts: 1
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Apprentice Ecology Awards

I have been an environmentalist since birth. My Dutch mother learned to recycle, reuse, and reduce from her parents while growing up in the Netherlands. She taught me to dry laundry outside on our clotheslines, recycle paper, glass, aluminum, and steel, and reuse many items for other uses. Practicing earth-friendliness has been a way of life for my family. We try to be role models wherever we go and inform people of good Earth stewardship.

For the past three years I have been fa co-chair of my church’s (Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington) Environmental Task Force. My church is in the process of becoming the first Green Sanctuary in the Kentucky Bluegrass (Lexington) area. The Unitarian Universalist Association awards their congregations with Green Sanctuary accreditation after completing a rigorous program of requirements, including making the building and grounds sustainable, educating people in the community about earth stewardship, and including social justice components. My task force participates in conferences and fairs, such as the Lexington Green Expo every October, during which we inform visitors about our Green Sanctuary program and give handouts with information about many similar programs for different denominations. We currently have fulfilled all the requirements and will submit our application soon.

Our last project was the Johnny Appleseed project that we started in April 2010. We take care of the 23 apple trees on our seven-plus-acres grounds around our church on Clays Mill Road in Lexington. We organized three workdays during which we cleared vegetation around the trees, pruned dead limbs, and applied mulch to retain moisture. We conducted weekly apple picking events after our services. Many members of our congregation, both young and old, helped with the harvest. The task force supplied snacks and drinks to keep the crowd hydrated and active.

In total we harvested at least 15 bushels of apples. After we harvested the apples I took them to the Hope Center, an organization that helps abused and homeless women and their children. In addition, I took apples to the Catholic Action Center, an organization that helps homeless men. Both organizations are located in Lexington. Giving our harvest to these organizations has given me a sense of accomplishment. The director of the Hope Center told me that they made apple sauce, pies, and fried apples out of them. The women living at the center helped preparing and cooking the apples as well. It makes me feel good to know they were involved, since social justice components must be present when becoming a Green Sanctuary. The apples that were deemed unacceptable for human consumption were harvested for elderly horses that belong to a member of our congregation. They love them!

We take care of our trees without using chemicals. Our church has its own IPM (Integrated Pesticide Management) policy. We try to avoid any chemicals in and outside our facilities when possible, therefore remaining as sustainable as possible. We are going to graft some of our older trees onto new stock so we can continue to grow our beloved trees that were planted by one of our members 30 years ago. Our younger members are learning about apples and the care of the trees. This project has, and will, include many members of our congregation and community members.

Personally, I have not only learned about the care of apple trees, but how to care for-and about-animals, friends, and society as a whole. This realization has infused a sense of leadership in me that I attribute to my contributions within not only my school, but my city and state. Had it not been for the Johnny Appleseed project, I would be unaware of my ability to lead, and the changes that I could make within my church, community, and school. I intend to continue this project as long as I am able to, and am excited to see it reward us with the highly coveted Green Sanctuary status.
· Date: December 31, 2010 · Views: 6230 · File size: 27.2kb, 390.9kb · : 1200 x 900 ·
Hours Volunteered: 400
Volunteers: 60
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 4 to 75
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 3
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