*Originally published on LGROW's website: https://www.lgrow.org/news/2022/12/20/mapping-with-plainsong-farm-and-the-episcopal-dioce
LGROW recently partnered with Plainsong Farm & Ministry and the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan to create an ArcGIS StoryMap showing the properties owned by the dioceses in ecological and social context. As these dioceses consider joining as one, the map was designed to provide members greater insight about the properties they hold and how they can be used for ministry.
This project also made concrete progress on a 2018 resolution by the Episcopal Church to create inventories of church properties to support the development of partnerships "enabling the use of church-owned land for regenerative agriculture and biodiversity conservation projects in order to sequester carbon and to mitigate climate change."
This resolution was originally proposed by the Rev. Nurya Love Parish, Plainsong's Executive Director, an Episcopal priest and a deputy to the church’s General Convention. She was inspired to do so by Plainsong’s partnership with LGROW, through which Plainsong began its soil conservation and environmental education work. As she said, "As soon as we started to work with LGROW, I knew we could do so much more together than either organization could do alone. I'm so grateful for this amazing partnership and the fruit it is bearing, both in our local watershed and across the state and nation."
The new StoryMap for both dioceses’s land holdings was created by LGROW’s ArcGIS Specialist Courtney Cromley Marek. It was presented to the dioceses’ Joint Diocesan Convention earlier this fall, where Marek hosted an exhibit designed to teach delegates to the convention how to understand the ArcGIS platform and read and share the map. Follow up plans by Plainsong include invitations to churches to experience ecologically oriented ministry onsite at Plainsong Farm and a program for innovators seeking to begin new entities and programs focused on care for Creation. To learn more, sign up for Plainsong’s newsletter at their website, www.plainsongfarm.com.