Trees Coalition is seeking to partner with environmentally conscious churches and synagogues in Spartanburg County who want to demonstrate good stewardship of His creation, especially the trees and green spaces in our community.
The successful organization will have these 9 attributes:
1. Approval and Commitment
- This requires the support and agreement from the Pastor/Rabbi and key leaders. Questions and concerns can be addressed via in-person meetings, a sermon outline, declaration and handouts.
- a. Identifying a volunteer team organize that is passionate about the stewardship of the Earth and improving Spartanburg County’s green spaces is critical.
- Deacons/leadership group can adopt a “Declaration”
- To ensure success, the group should choose a site that is small (a large site may be overwhelming for a first attempt), visible (so that the congregation and community can follow the progress and celebrate the achievements), and doable (based on the size of the group and skills sets available, carefully choose a location that the team believes it can successfully impact)
- An ideal area can be completed in 6 sessions
- By partnering with other organizations in the community your group can establish a pattern of sharing the effort by planning one work session for “us” and the next for “them”.
- Before agreeing to partner with others on a second site, walk the site together, ensure that both sides understand the end goal and take photos to show the “before” and “after” in order to celebrate the success of both the partnership and the site restoration.
3. Educate and Engage
- Schedule a time to make the presentation to a key group likely to support the undertaking (workers, youth group, men’s group, etc)
- Provide education regarding invasive species involved at selected sites via handouts created by the Trees Coalition.
- Manage expectations – Don’t over commit. Instead, set an achievable goal, so that the first time’s accomplishments exceed expectations. This success will encourage others and give a strong sense of accomplishment to the team.
- Willingness to host a presentation by a member of the Trees Coalition to interested groups (men, women, youth)
- Schedule the first four work sessions (“parties”) with a two-hour time limit to ensure that workers are able to quit before they want to quit.
4. Enhance (Save trees, do work outside)
- Use promotional aids such as a yellow sandwich board, handouts e-mail “blasts”, ‘Beware” signs, posters and more to promote upcoming events.
- Tree Parties/Work Sessions should be fun and safe
- Trees Coalition provides safety vests, tools, education, pre-work invasives walk, etc.
- Owner/Church provides: Participants, break items such as water, snacks, etc
- Split into teams ( 2 or 3 per tree) w/ some doing roll back, some crowns and others ivy.
- Take photos before, during and after
- End work after 2 hours (quit before they want to quit)
- Have fun and enjoy the time outdoors with friends and new friends!
- Publish photos, make a poster for display in the community and at the church
- Post signs at the site such as “Improvements by Central United Methodist”
6. Improve the process
- Critique and make improvements for the next event!