Updated: Oct 16, 2019
By Stewardship 365
Beginning this fall, St. Catherine’s will be partnering with the Atlanta Audubon Society to create a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary, which will be unveiled to the parish in the spring of 2020 on, or around, Earth Day.
This wildlife sanctuary plan aligns well with the way that the S365 has organized its work this year. We are focusing each stewardship season around a central area of our parish life: stewardship of our facilities, stewardship of our financial resources, stewardship of our spiritual life, and stewardship of God’s creation, which will align perfectly with this Easter season.
Atlanta Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuary Program encourages property owners to enhance their land for birds and other wildlife through planting native plants, removing exotic species, and providing food, water, and shelter for wildlife. The broad goal of the project is to create a network of certified wildlife sanctuaries throughout metro-Atlanta to counter the loss of wildlife habitat to urbanization, and to provide additional habitat for the hundreds of birds and other species threatened by climate change.
The site we have identified for our wildlife sanctuary is adjacent to the Youth House, located to the right of the front steps (when facing the building). The plot size will be roughly 100 square feet. This area offers lots of morning and afternoon sun, which is a requirement for plant pollination, and also has the benefit of providing a wooded edge border, making it an attractive nesting site for birds and other wildlife. After the sanctuary is created, we will be able to feast our eyes (and ears) on birds and birdsong, and enjoy the sights of colorful native flower and shrubs as well as the butterflies that they attract--yearlong!
Given its proximity to the Youth House, we are excited for opportunities for the Youth and their families to support the sanctuary with garden installation and initial maintenance needs of the site. The Facilities Team will also help with site preparation/installation, and we also look forward to inviting our youngest parishioners to help with preparing the garden space and planting flowers. We hope to work with the entire parish to help make this garden sanctuary a reality. There will be many opportunities for everyone to get involved! In order to prepare the site for planting this fall and next spring, we will be working on some short-term goals in the coming months:
creating a water container for the sanctuary wildlife (a requirement for certification);
building a small enclosure around the garden to help protect it from foot traffic and youth ball games frequently played on the pavement nearby;
removing existing weeds and exotic species currently contained in the site and preparing the soil for planting, mulching, etc.
Please be on the lookout for a parish-wide sign up to enable you to get involved with these activities and help our sanctuary garden thrive! For questions please contact Susannah Campbell, Nelson Gale, or Joy Ettel.