Rain gardens are a practical, ecological and theological solution for houses of worship
By Sara Badilini
Religion News Service
February 9, 2022
A common environmentally friendly solution to flooding, rain gardens satisfy a common theological thread running through many faiths.
(RNS) — Showy goldenrod. Oxeye sunflower. Blue false indigo. When spring comes, it’s impossible not to notice the colorful ensemble of flowers and bushes outside the Sisters of St. Joseph’s convent in Brentwood, New York.
But there is something deeper going on than an eyeful of natural beauty. The sisters’ rain gardens, as their plantings are known in environmental circles, soak up rainwater that would otherwise collect in depressions around the convent’s 212 acres. Besides solving nuisance flooding, the rain gardens improve water quality thanks to an underground filtration system. They also feed the insect population, becoming sanctuaries for bees, butterflies and, in turn, attract and feed birds.