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Collaboration Makes a Garden Grow

Updated: Jun 11

Since planting a tree in memory of Daniel Prude

in 2020, RAICA has deepened its relationship with the very gracious leadership at Abundant Life Faith Community. Pastor Arthur Dilbert was a comforting supporter of family and community when Daniel was mortally subdued by the police on Jefferson Avenue in front of the church. When RAICA offered to plant a tree at the church in Daniel’s memory, Rev. Arthur agreed and the Daniel Prude Peace garden continues to thrive.

Since that time, RAICA and the RocACTS Climate Justice task force have met with church leadership, Rev. Arthur and his wife, Sharon Murrell-Dilbert as well as Rev. Beverly Murrell-Frasier and her husband, Deacon Robert Frasier, to arrange an energy audit and talk about potential energy savings. When we broached the idea of planting a native pollinator garden, Sharon was especially intrigued and worked to help plan the plants and location.

This garden was truly a collaborative effort of Abundant Life Faith Community, RAICA, Healthy Yards Monroe and RocACTS Climate Justice Task Force. Don Hoyer from Healthy Yards volunteered to plan the garden, thoughtfully seeking plants that would  thrive without being either too fussy or too aggressive.  Last fall church members, including Sister Sharon, seen here, worked with Don, Megan Meyers and Ruth Marchetti to place cardboard and spread soil, compost and mulch over an area next to the back door of the social hall.

By spring, the garden was ready to plant. Don marked off a grid and placed stepping

stones, before placing plants for digging in. Don’s wife, Liz and church members, including the enthusiastic Frasier children, went to work carefully planting until the garden was complete.

Native pollinator plants are especially important in urban areas that have a great deal of paving.  Having regular places for pollinators to land, find food and lay eggs is essential for all healthy ecosystems. In

addition, gardens are places of respite and beauty that feed the spirit of human beings.

Plans are already under way to add several native shrubs and perhaps a bench so the garden can be enjoyed by all who pass by, including members of the mosque next store.

The congregation of Abundant Life Faith Community continues to live what it means to love one's neighbor in a section of our city that has been deeply impacted by poverty and violence. A glimpse of heaven indeed!

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