In the Midwest, faith communities are ramping up the fight against climate change
By Jena Brooker
June 30, 2021
A collaboration between houses of worship and the National Wildlife Federation is bringing religious groups deeper into the environmental movement.
Outside the hulking limestone facade of Gesu Catholic Church and School in Detroit, Michigan, a group of fifth and sixth graders sit in the grass next to two rain gardens full of native plants — perennial flowers and grasses like Black Eyed Susans, Wild Strawberry, and Indian Grass.
The gardens are a new addition to the grounds of the 85-year-old church, recently installed by students, parishioners, and community members. In addition to serving as critical wildlife and pollinator habitat, the beds are built to catch rain running off the church’s roof and asphalt surfaces, allowing it to percolate slowly through the garden soil rather than entering Detroit’s storm-swollen sewers.