Ten faith traditions involving 250 faith communities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are partnering with the US Environmental Agency, the United States Forest Service, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community during 2013-14. The Cedar Tree Institute, a nonprofit organization which provides services and initiates projects in the areas of mental health, religion, and the environment, is coordinating the Initiative.
Building on the award-winning achievements of Earthkeepers I (2004-2009), this next phase of mobilizing faith-based communities around responsible stewardship practices involves two focus areas.
- Promoting Energy Conservation
- Establishing Community Gardens
Upcoming Highlights 2012-2014
- 40 PARISH AUDITS with specific recommendations for updating energy use by congregations.
- 40 MINI-GRANTS distributed to faith communities for implementing specific energy conservation measures.
- 25 ENERGY CONSERVATION WORKSHOPS for improving household energy usage by community members.
- 2 CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (public libraries and university and community college settings) on spiritual perspectives for environmental stewardship.
- SUPPORT FOR 2 UNIVERSITY STUDENT INTERNS who will be learning community-organizing skills during 2012 – 2014.
- 6 STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREATS for EK II representatives from ten regional faith traditions (Jewish, Episcopal, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baha’i, American Friends (Quaker), Unitarian, and United Methodist.
- 30 INTERFAITH COMMUNITY GARDENS established across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with technical assistance from the U.S. Forest Service (Jan Schultz, Chief Botanist, Eastern Region USDAFS) and local organic farmers.