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Boreal Community Media

Church improves backyard French River environment with eco-faith grant

Oct 18, 2021 06:45AM ● By Editor

With the money they were able to redo all the lighting, putting in LEDs. | Photo: WDIO-TV

By Kenny Johnson of WDIO-TV - October 17, 2021

At French River Lutheran church they have a huge commitment to nature due to their location next to the river. They've recently been awarded an eco-faith grant to continue their environmental work to better their community land.

Pastor Kim Strutz was extremely grateful for the grant. "It was great we were really excited and very humbled and grateful that they would help us out with that”, she says. 

The church has done a number of things to improve the back yard environment such as rain gardens, bat houses, and bird feeders. They also put in LED lighting in the sanctuary and parking lot lights.

With their location, they've always been very appreciative of nature so it only made sense to apply for the eco faith grant. Pastor Kim says, "why not take a chance to apply for this grant? And it made it possible for us to do these things to help care for the earth." 

And with their partnership with kindred paths pre-school kids are now becoming ones with nature since the entire class takes place outside. "A lot of people, especially with the nature preschool when they hear about it, they are like ‘wow! You have a preschool outside in even in the winter?’ We're like yep they bundle up we have campfires”, says Kim.

A lot of activities focus on play, which is fun, but also helpful with their social growth along with other skills. Instructor Lane Schraufnagel says these skills include, "Literacy and communication skills and imagination and just really working with their entire being."

For the school and church there's just more opportunities to learn and worship outdoors. Pastor Kim says, "So we realized this is a vital asset for us to be able to be in this space, care for it, worship here as well as inside our building when we are able to do so."

The congregation at French River Lutheran church is still happy to spend a day out in nature every once and awhile. Pastor Kim says, "I know our people at our congregation find it extremely important to do that as well as encourage our community and our people who visit even to be good about taking care of the earth while enjoying our space of creation here."

To see the original report and read related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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