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  • Writer's pictureSharee Wharton

Potomac Church Confirmands Beautify Courtyard with Native Plants

On a bright Saturday morning, the courtyard of Potomac United Methodist Church (UMC) was abuzz with activity as a group of enthusiastic confirmands embarked on a service project that combined environmental stewardship and community building. These young members, ranging from middle school to high school, rolled up their sleeves and worked together to plant 60 native plants, transforming the once-bare courtyard into a vibrant and sustainable oasis. The confirmands were divided into teams, each responsible for a specific area of the courtyard. Despite their diverse ages and backgrounds, they quickly bonded over their shared goal of creating a beautiful and eco-friendly space. Laughter and friendly banter filled the air as they dug holes, carefully placed the plants, and watered them with care.

"It was a blessing to see how well these young people worked together," remarked Minister Sharee Wharton, the Director of Community Engagement. "They demonstrated teamwork and camaraderie that truly embodies the spirit of our church community." Our choice to plant native species was deliberate, reflecting the church's commitment to environmental sustainability. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, requiring less water and maintenance than non-native species. They have long roots that draw water deep into the soil, reducing the amount of water runoff and the possibility of flooding. Additionally, they provide valuable habitats for pollinators and other wildlife, contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem. This project was designed to educate our confirmands about the importance of native plants and their role in preserving biodiversity." Beyond the physical transformation of the courtyard, the service project also strengthened the bonds between Troop 773B, the Sunday School, and the Church. Troop 773B cleared the brush and ivy from the courtyard and contributed $500 to the cost of purchasing the native plants as part of their agreement to partner with our Sunday School.  A grant from Eco America helped to cover the remaining cost.

As the confirmands stepped back to admire their handiwork, a sense of pride and accomplishment was evident on their faces. The native plants they have carefully planted will not only beautify the courtyard but also contribute to the overall well-being of the local environment for years to come. The Potomac UMC confirmands' service project exemplifies the United Methodist Church's commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders and fostering a sense of responsibility towards the environment and the community. Through their hard work and dedication, these young members have created a space that will remind us of the power of collective action and the importance of preserving our natural world.

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