St. Paul's Episcopal Church on the map for sustainability
FutureHeights and Sustainable Heights began green mapping the sustainability assets and resources of Cleveland Heights and University Heights in 2010. Very few religious institutions are on the map, but St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has been featured since the very beginning.
The current map can be viewed at http://www.opengreenmap.org/greenmap/sustainable-heights-green-map. Icons identify the areas of support for community sustainability. Anyone can help build the map by submitting sites, as well as comments, pictures and video.
When St. Paul’s sustainability group, called the Green Team, joined the mapping project, it could already list several icons for St. Paul's. These icons indicate such features as an enclosed community playground, a resale shop, a paper recycling station, and a public art gallery. That was two years ago and, while those icons are still relevant, more has happened to confirm the church’s commitment to sustainability.
The church grounds boast a lawn free of pesticides and a couple of active composting bins. Members of the Geauga Family Farms CSA (community supported agriculture) pick up locally grown produce in the church parking lot every week. Herbs, vegetables and flowers grown on church property are featured in an annual fall harvest sale. Volunteers also grow hops on the grounds, used for small-batch beer brewing, with names such as "Episco-pale Ale" and "Forty Days."
Inside the building, savvy visitors will notice additional efforts to support sustainability. Recycling bins and FCL and LED lighting are seen throughout the building. A commitment to lessening the carbon footprint of St. Paul's led to upgrades in insulation, more efficient appliances, and improved air sealing as part of a larger project to restore a fellowship hall for parish and community use.
Even with all these features, the Green Team at St. Paul’s knows that it has much work to do. The group’s participation in E4S (Entrepreneurs for Sustainability) has led to a desire to create a regional buying program for the bulk purchasing of green supplies by various parishes in the Heights.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church is located at 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights, at the northwest corner of Fairmount Boulevard and Coventry Road. For more information about the church’s green mission, call the church office at 216-932-5815.
Jim Ptacek and Kirsten Radivoyevitch
Jim Ptacek is a LEED-accredited design professional and chair of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Green Team. Kirsten Radivoyevitch, a founding member of the Green Team and member of the St. Paul's Vestry, co-wrote this article.