a sign that says st mathew's church surrounded by flowers

Blue Water Congregations

Through the Blue Water Congregations program, Blue Water Baltimore and Interfaith Partners of the Chesapeake are working with places of worship to implement projects on their grounds to help improve the health of our local waterways. Stormwater projects such as hardscape removal, pervious pavement, rain gardens, and rainwater harvesting with cisterns or rain barrels decrease the amount of stormwater flowing from buildings, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Rain barrels are simple ways of collecting rainwater flowing off a roof, which can be used for irrigation. Starting in 2011, St. Matthew’s Catholic Church installed nine rain barrels over the course of two years, disconnecting four downspouts in the process.

“The goal was to divert runoff from the stormwater system and have water available for newly planted trees. We’ve used water from the barrels for approximately 12 young trees as well as flower beds near the rectory, church and labyrinth,” said Barbara Metz, Director of Social Ministry at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.

As part of Blue Water Congregations, Blue Water Baltimore offers free technical, design, financial, and landscape expertise to help congregations move forward with stormwater projects.

Barbara added, “Blue Water Baltimore has been a great source of support through their rain barrel workshops and onsite assistance for installation and adaptation of our barrels. The staff visited our site and assessed the best locations for rain barrel installation. We participated in Blue Water Baltimore rain barrel workshops and constructed our barrels. Blue Water Baltimore staff came onsite on two or three occasions to assist with set-up, tandem connections, and adding overflow capacity.”

Barbara, standing next to two of her rain barrels said, “I’d recommend Blue Water Congregations as a solid source of support for installing rain barrels and learning about stormwater issues.”

Walk the Talk

Learn more about Blue Water Congregations at our upcoming Walk the Talk event on Sunday, April 26 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation from 3 pm to 5 pm. This free forum is designed for members of congregations to be inspired to restore our waters.

Become a Blue Water Congregation

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