Environmental Guild & Garden Guild

The Environmental Guild and Garden Guild are two energetic, friendly, and multi-generational groups of parishioners who take seriously our call as Christians to care for creation. For more information about any of the Environmental Guild’s projects, please contact Kathy Cramer.

News from your Environmental Guild

Celebrating the Season of Creation at Barking Dog Ranch

The Environmental Guild marked the worldwide Anglican Communion’s Season of Creation (Sept. 1-Oct. 4) with a visit to Barking Dog Ranch in Lockhart, Texas, on Sept. 28. The ranch, a wildlife management area owned by St. David’s parishioners Denise and Bob Riendeau, raises goats and chickens to provide high-quality protein to the local food bank. It is also home to a number of beehives, including the hives sponsored by St. David’s Environmental Guild. The families who visited the ranch fed goats and chickens, learned about bees from beekeeper Janice Friend and enjoyed a sunny afternoon – with a few sprinkles – surrounded by the natural beauty of the Texas countryside. The Rev. Katie Wright even blessed the beehives! The Guild hopes to make this visit an annual event for St. David’s families, and we look forward to years of productive partnership with Barking Dog Ranch.

Looking Ahead:

St. David’s annual Earth Day fair takes place Sunday, April 19, 2020, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the church entrance courtyard, when we celebrate our glorious planet and our stewardship of it. Learn from Travis County Master Gardeners, our beekeepers, and visitors from Barking Dog Ranch. There will be information about the City of Austin’s sustainability programs, a silent auction of eco-friendly items and more. The early Bethell service will be held on the labyrinth (weather permitting). Join in all the activities to learn and celebrate!

What we do

Recycle batteries, small electronics, eyeglasses, ink cartridges, wine corks, pens and glue sticks, CD cases and more – check out our labeled drawers in the church lobby!

Tend the native flowering gardens on St. David’s campus. The Garden Guild meets the third Saturday of each month, 8:30-10:30. For more information contact John Touchet.

Maintain new beehives at an orchard in Kyle. To learn about upcoming, periodic workdays contact Bob Davis.

Host speakers on environmental topics. Listen to past speakers via the podcast links below.

Poverty & Trees: What’s the Connection? Valerie Foulkes, Plant with Purpose
Seeing Green through Human Eyes: An Exploration of Laudato Si’, Fr. Louis Brusatti, St. Edward’s University
Seeing Green in Your Own Kitchen: Composting for a Cleaner Earth, Susanne Harm, Austin Resource Recovery

St. David’s Youth Group members join the Environmental Guild and TreeFolks, Inc. to plant tree saplings in Zilker Park, January 2017

St. David’s Youth Group members join the Environmental Guild and TreeFolks, Inc. to plant tree saplings in Zilker Park, January 2017

Science, Christianity, and the Concept of Stewardship, by Genaro Lopez, Ph.D.
Contemplative Beekeeping, by Jason Minnix
Food Justice Means Environmental Justice, by Ronda Rutledge

Produce an annual Earth Day Celebration.

Publish helpful articles and “green” tips in church publications.

Coordinate recycling and waste-reduction efforts at the church.

Network with other religious institutions and organizations to further our mission.

What we have done

A surprise guest visited St. David’s Earth Day Fair 2018 – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry!

Spring 2019:
Earth Day Celebration

Sunday, April 28,
8:30 a.m- 12:30 p.m.
We celebrated our glorious planet and our stewardship of it: New this year, there was a silent auction of eco-friendly items – art, gift certificates, a veggie box and more. Citizens Climate Lobby, a national initiative, will have a table, and St. David’s own Lydia Heisel demonstrated her Girl Scout Gold Award project to improve sustainability for St. David’s Youth Group. Gardening questions were answered by the Travis County Master Gardeners, and information was provided about Austin city programs for conservation and sustainability – especially a new, free class on solar arrays for residential roofs (with a $2,500 rebate!). Our popular beekeepers were also there. The early Bethell service was held on the labyrinth followed at 10:30 a.m. by a rededication of the church’s solar array on the deck. 

Spring 2018: The Environmental Guild establishes two new top-bar beehives in Kyle, Texas. Located between an orchard and a large vegetable-growing enterprise, the bees have an ample supply of pollen to collect, in a safe spot where they can raise generations of new bees, pollinate nearby crops, produce honey for their ongoing needs and … eventually … provide us with a honey harvest!

“… the bees … are our best teachers, and for their willingness to tolerate us as their keepers and share with us their bounty, we are endlessly grateful.” (From Top-Bar Beekeeping, by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell)

Completed a rigorous environmental certification program offered by GreenFaith (the first church in Texas to be named a GreenFaith Sanctuary).

Coordinated a ten-year-long effort with St. David’s staff to install solar panels on the garage roof (the largest solar array in downtown Austin).

Achieved National Wildlife Certification for the Labyrinth in 2011.

Continue to be a City of Austin Green Business Partner (Platinum level) since 2012.

Won the 2012 Keep Austin Beautiful Award for Recycling and Waste Reduction.

Bishop Doyle blessing a solar panel. St. David’s solar panel array is now the largest in downtown Austin.

Our Mission Statement

We believe that God entrusted all of creation to our safekeeping and that we are therefore called to be responsible stewards of God’s beloved earth. Accordingly, St. David’s commits to take an ever active and holistic approach to environmental stewardship through education, service, and sustainable practices.

Join Us

We meet about once a quarter through the year, on Sundays at 12:30 p.m., to plan events, share ideas, and develop strategies to further our “greening” efforts. To join us, please contact Kathryn Cramer.

Green Faith