St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Asheville Receives F.A.I.T.H. Certification

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Asheville has received the “Fellowship Actions Impacting the Habitat,” or FAITH, certification from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation — June 2009

The FAITH program is a non-denominational initiative designed to recognize and certify places of worship that meet certain requirements for wildlife-friendly habitat.

“This program is designed to encourage ongoing stewardship of our wildlife and wild places in urban, suburban, and rural settings,” said Tim Gestwicki, Executive Director of NC Wildlife Federation.  “Direct hands-on projects are the key to fostering awareness and appreciation of our native flora and fauna.”

Mountain WILD! worked with the Rev. Patricia Mouer, rector, and parishioners at St. Luke’s to make habitat assessments and develop a long-term plan for providing wildlife habitat on two acres.  “St. Luke’s has a beautiful combination of wooded land, open space and a creek, which is a gift for us to care for and to share.  We hope that the FAITH project will help us be the best stewards of God’s creation that we can be, both here in Chunn’s Cove and beyond,” said Rev. Mouer.

Subsequently, church members created a butterfly garden, planting  native plants to attract pollinators.  They also reduced or eliminated the use of fertilizers on the grounds and removed debris from an existing ravine bordering the church cemetery.



In addition, an extensive invasive-species removal project was undertaken along the Ross Creek riparian habitat.  (Ross Creek is a tributary of Kenilworth Lake).  A FAITH team church leader coordinated multiple workdays for church members, Americorps volunteers, Warren Wilson students, and a community organization.  Invasive species included:  Multiflora roses, Japanese honeysuckle, Oriental bittersweet, Tree of Heaven trees.