Initially an expansive, grass-mowed area with a long-forgotten ballfield, Associate Pastor of Faith Formation and Outreach, Rev. Carla Wilson, saw its potential for much more. With Pastor Wilson’s vision, dedicated congregational leaders, volunteers and many donors, the area is well on its way to becoming a safe, welcoming and inspirational green space for the use and enjoyment of the surrounding community.
In the spring of 2020 the congregation's "God's Work, Our Hands" missional outreach team, led by chairman Rod Schoening, began the hard work. The team removed aging and unsafe structures such as dead trees, a deteriorating swing set, damaged fencing, and old ballfield. Later that summer the Prayer Walk Committee enlisted the help of other passionate individuals who raised nearly $8,000 to plow and, with the use of the mulch from the downed trees, surface a comfortably accessible walking path lined with custom-designed and manufactured prayer stations that are changed seasonally. They also included benches for meditation and rest, a picnic grove with freshly sanded and stained tables, and dog waste stations — all made possible by a host of hardworking volunteers and generous donors.
Led by avid gardener and conservation-minded, Helen Book, our volunteers spent the fall of 2020 installing roughly 3,000 pounds of recycled corrugated cardboard with landscape pins over a large grassy area designated to become our wildflower meadow. The cardboard was used to suppress the grass and block the light, impeding the growth of new grass, without the use of herbicides. It can then be tilled while taking advantage of the newly-deposited nutrients from the dead grass. The area will be planted with a native, north-eastern pollinator meadow mixture of seeds in the spring of 2021.
The concrete slab that formerly housed a pavilion and fireplace is also being repurposed into an outdoor worship space with painted labyrinth and altar when the warmth of 2021 happens. Once the Prayer Walk is completed, Good Shepherd's "Creation Care" team will continue to maintain the entire area by weeding, refreshing mulch, disposing of dog waste and general clean up.
We are excited to invite the Greenfield community and local community groups of all ages who share a passion for learning about green methods of sustainable creation care. Dog walkers, spiritual seekers, nature lovers, prayerful visitors; all are welcome and appreciated at the Good Shepherd Prayer Walk.