This spring, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 8320 South St., began a major renovation of its 1.9 acres of green space. As part of Phase I, the church has planted 51 trees, 84 shrubs, and a 1,000-square-foot rain garden. More enhancements are planned.

The vision is to create an intensively landscaped mini-park that benefits wildlife, reduces lawn care, and serves the neighborhood. The church has applied for recognition as a Landscape Steward Affiliate Site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Pictures of the project and plans for the future are at www.aldersgatelinc.org.

“Aldersgate is blessed with a lot of green space and is trying to use it wisely. What we are doing with our land is very much like the Biblical parable of investing talents,” explained Pastor Rafique.

From 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 24), the church will hold an open house of our gardens to celebrate what has been accomplished and share ideas for the future. Activities will include live music; free ice cream and cookies; and information about raingardens, sustainable landscaping, and pollinator gardens. (In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Oct. 1.)

Neighbors, suppliers, granting agencies and the public are invited to walk the grounds, ask questions, and offer suggestions on future enhancements.

Past sustainability projects undertaken at Aldersgate have included conversion of all lighting to LED and high efficiency florescent bulbs. Recently, the national Interfaith Power and Light association named Aldersgate as a runner-up in its 2016 Cool Congregations Planning category.

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