Green Team May Focus

Plant Native Species


Like me, you have probably been outside planting your garden and adding flowers in this beautiful weather. Here are some Creation Care thoughts on your plantings and beautifying your environment around your home. If you have a garden or even just a plant or two outside your home, check for native species. Use a plant identification app to help. And then think about replacing non-natives, especially any considered invasive. Plants, animals and insects depend on each other. Most insects will not eat non-native plants, which means birds and other species lose a food source. Biodiversity suffers. Even a single tree or shrub can offer a refuge – just remember to skip insecticides and other chemicals.


If you were at the Sacred Earth Fair Urban Edition, maybe you attended the workshop session presented up by Martha & Steve Ellis, “Sharing Space: Creating Backyard Wildlife Habitat”. Besides beautiful photos showing the attraction of birds and butterflies to their Whidbey Island backyard, they gave great suggestions in an urban setting about creating backyard havens in conjunction with your neighbor! If your neighbor(s) have tall trees, why not plant lower bushes and plants in YOUR yard to complement your next-door neighbor’s habitat to give the necessary habitat layers for attracting birds and butterflies and help them to thrive in your urban or suburban setting? With our smaller urban yards, cooperating with your neighbors was a good suggestion! The birds and butterflies don’t recognize our fences and just treat it as all one environment! Thanks for this perspective and many more ideas, Martha & Steve!


Maybe you didn’t know: Martha Ellis is President of “Washington Native Plant Society” and Steve is past President of Island County Audubon Society. Both Martha & Steve were too modest to mention their titles and experience. We benefited from their knowledge and Environmental Activism over a lifetime, anyway!


Attached is the website for Washington Native Plant Society with photos, suggestions, advice, AND an interactive KIDS page – SCROLL down a bit for the Kids pages. CLICK on the link and try planting some Native Plants and Flowers in conjunction with your next-door neighbors in our Urban and Suburban settings! Try some of the Interactive ideas suggested on the KIDS page, together as a family! Have FUN and LEARN together! 

The First Congregational Church Green Team hopes to help our faith community  focus on just one or two items or ideas you and/or your family can try each month: to reduce our carbon footprint; suggest ideas for what you can specifically do; reinforce our monthly ritual in Worship; bring hope to our efforts individually and together on Climate Justice.


Previous Month’s Focus were:

January –    “Saving Energy at Home”

February –  “Speak Up” (centered around our Washington State Legislative session)

March –      “Reduce , Reuse, Repair & Recycle”

April –         “Plastics” & “Walk, Bike or take Public Transport


This Month’s Installment is Focusing on:

May –           “Plant Native Species”


Future Installments will Focus on:

June –          “Clean up your Environment”

July –            “Switch to an Electric Vehicle”

August –       “Eat More Vegetables”

September – “Throw Away Less Food”

October –      “Clean Up your Environment”

November –   “Change Your Home’s Source of Energy”

December –   “Make your Money Count”


Each monthly focus was selected to correspond to the season of the year. Try one or two ideas each month. Give us feedback how we are doing.