In the spring of 2008,
Second Baptist moved
to a former grocery
store on Richmond’s
south side. The large
building and six-acre, mostly paved
and some challenges,
including much larger utility bills and a
newly enacted stormwater assessment.
In 2015, I had a divinely ordained
encounter with the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation. Ann Jurczyk, CBF’s
Virginia Outreach and Advocacy
Manager, suggested that Second
Baptist partner with CBF on an
initiative that could help the church
and help the Bay.
The result was amazing. Second Baptist
now treats most of the polluted runoff
on its property. Stormwater that runs
off the roof is caught in a 10,000-gallon
cistern that waters a new expansive
urban farm. Underneath the farm is
a large stormwater mechanism that
captures any water that overflows.
And, we use the beautiful garden as
an agricultural classroom to teach
people to grow their own foods. Now
the church can treat polluted runoff,
capture water for gardening, grow food,
and save money on utility bills. The
church could not have done a fraction
of this project without CBF.
Pastor Ralph Steven Hodge
Second Baptist Church; Richmond, Virginia
Three boys play in the water at
Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis,
Maryland, where, because of polluted
runoff, swimming can de dangerous
to human health after a rain event.
PHOTO B Y KARINE AIGNER/ILCP